Archive for the ‘Instrumental Archivist’ Category

Robert D.W. Connor, First archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration

Robert D.W. Connor, First archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration

Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, was born in Wilson, North Carolina on September 26, 1878 and is most known for being the first Archivist of the United States.  Connor earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1899.  From 1921-1934, Connor was a professor of History and Government at UNC.  On October 10, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Connor to be the First Archivist of the United States, and began his archival duties immediately.  His appointment did not become official until March 20, 1935 when the senate approved of Connor.  Connor remained the FIrst Archivist until 1941 where he then returned to UNC to continue teaching until he retired in 1949.  He died the following year on February 25, 1950.

If you would like to learn more about Robert D.W. Connor, look at the following links below.

Writings by Connor:

Writings about Connor:

Additional sources of Information:,R.D.W.html

Harold PinkettCareer:

Early in his career at the U.S. National Archives, Harold Pinkett wrote many of the preliminary inventories of the records from the Department of Agriculture that were transferred to NARA in the 1930’s. And in 1942, Pinkett was appointed the first African American archivist at the Archives.


Dr. Pinkett published many articles regarding the holdings of the National Archives and issues of archival interest. Some topics included records of the Forest Service, investigations of federal record keeping practices, and the selective preservation of general correspondence. Dr. Pinkett was also the editor of the  American Archivist, from 1968 to 1971 and coedited Research in the Administration of Public Policy, a National Archives publication, in 1972.


“Records of Research Units of the United States Forest Service in the National Archives,” Journal of Forestry (1947).

  • “Investigations of Federal Record-keeping, 1887-1906,” American Archivist (1958).
  • “Identification of Records of Continuing Value,” The Indian Archives (1965).
  • “Selective Preservation of General Correspondence,” American Archivist (1967).
  • American Archival Theory: The State of the Art (1981)
  • Accessioning Public Records: Anglo-American Practices and Possible Improvements (1978)
  • A Glossary of Records Terminology: Scope and Definitions (1970)

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Instrumental Archivist: Dr. James Berton Rhoads, Sr. Photo credit:

Longtime archivist for US GSA, Dr. James Berton Rhoads, Sr., passed away on April 7, 2015. As the US Archivist, he played key roles in setting up Presidential Libraries for Truman, Johnson and Kennedy. He served throughout four presidential administrations.

Dr. Rhoads was the Archivist of the United States with the General Services Administration-National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C. from 1952-1979, and he served in a number of archival practice leadership positions.

He was member of the National Archives Trust Fund Board, 1968-79; Chairman of National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 1968-79; member of Federal Council on Arts and Humanities, 1970-79; President of Rhodes Associates International, 1980-84; Director of Graduate Program in Archives and Records Management, Western Washington University, Bellingham, 1984-94; Professor Emeritus, 1994-present; Trustee for Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 1969-79; and Vice President of Intergovernmental Council, UNESCO Info. Program, 1977-79; Bert was the recipient of the Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards from the General Services Administration, 1966, 68, and 79; President of Fellow Society American Archivists, 1974-75; President of International Council, Archives 1976-79; and President of Academic Certified Archivists, 1992-94.

Read more about Dr. Rhoads here:

Archivist Dorothy Porter Wesley Is Subject of Book Discussion

Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995)

Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995) Image Courtesy of Constance Porter Uzelac

Janet Sims-Wood, author of Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University, will discuss and sign her biography about Wesley, who helped create the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and cemented her place as an important figure in the preservation of African American history. The signing will take place on Tuesday, February 24, at noon in the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building.

Learn more about Dorothy Porter Wesley:

“American National Biography Online: Wesley, Dorothy Porter.” American National Biography Online: Wesley, Dorothy Porter. American Council of Learned Societies, 2000. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Biographies.” N.p., 2001. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Little Known Black Librarian Facts: Dorothy Porter Wesley: Librarian, Bibliophile, and Culture Keeper.” Little Known Black Librarian Facts: Dorothy Porter Wesley: Librarian, Bibliophile, and Culture Keeper. Little Known Black Librarian Facts, Inc., 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

Pace, Eric. “Dorothy Porter Wesley, 91, Black-History Archivist.” The New York Times, 20 Dec. 1995. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Porter Wesley, Dorothy (1905-1995) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed.” Porter Wesley, Dorothy (1905-1995) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

Sims-Wood, Janet L. Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University: Building a Legacy of Black History. Mount Plesant: History, 2014. Print.