Society of Georgia ArchivistsPreserving the past and present for the future.

Sheryl B. Vogt
SGA Fellow
Class of 2009

Sheryl B. Vogt is director of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia Libraries, a position she has held since 1981. Responsible for the administration and development of the Russell Library, she has fostered a program that documents the broadest range of modern political and policy subject matter and engages in a variety of public programming and strategic partnerships such as that with the university’s Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies.

Sheryl is a Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists, a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, and a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. She served as president of SGA in 1983, editor of Provenance (1985-1989, 1993, 1997-2001), and was the 2004 recipient of the Scone Foundation’s international Archivist of the Year Award.

She is author of various articles and national conference papers on congressional archives and holdings of the Russell Library. Currently, Sheryl holds appointments to the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress and the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. She also serves as president of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.

Describe how SGA has influenced your development as a professional.

Joining SGA brought me a sense of being a professional. Initially, I did not have that identity in the workplace, but I found it through participation in SGA. Meeting and collaborating with a focused, resourceful network of colleagues who were eager to mentor and share gave me a larger vision of what being professional means. From my SGA experience, I gained confidence to pursue committee work and offices in national organizations. Because SGA colleagues engendered my desire to follow their leadership example in my own development, I have tried, over the years, to encourage and support my staff and others in professional development activities.

What advice would you give a student or individual considering a career in archives?

My advice to someone considering a career in archives is to recognize that, long-term, this work can easily become a labor of love. Rarely does one find fame or fortune in the archives profession, but choice in location, setting, collection, specialization can lead to the most rewarding work and professional experiences. If considering this career, be sure to enjoy the basicsundefinedhistory, order, detail, description, interacting with the public, communicating, and continuing education. Success will come from developing the basics and taking responsibility to collaborate with co-workers and colleagues, share what is learned, and invest in the profession.

Describe one of your fondest professional memories or a highlight of your career in archives.

Recipient of Scone Foundation’s Archivist of Year Award in 2004: This was my 15 minutes of fame, a grand celebrity experience. This international award is decided by historians and other authors who regularly use archives. I was nominated by Ina Caro for assistance with the multi-volume Lyndon Johnson biography. Scone Foundation flew my husband, daughter, and me to New York City, transported us by car from and to the airport, and provided lodging near Times Square for a long weekend. At the Center for the Humanities, New York University, Ina presented the award during an evening program, followed by dinner. A small group of relatives and friends joined us, which made the event even more spectacular.

My fondest SGA memory is from a spring meeting at Agrirama in Tifton in the early 1980s. A large group of us gathered by the motel pool in the evening and played trivia for several hours. Many lasting friendships came from such gatherings over the years. Among my dearest friends today are colleagues I met over 30 years ago in SGA. Tifton was also the first SGA meeting for the new staff at the Carter Presidential Materials Project. Bohannon, Elzy, and Schewe arrived in a plain car, wearing suits and sunglasses. We knew right away they were going to be trouble.

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