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Archivist Michael Moosberger

A passion for building the historical record of both Dalhousie University and the province of Nova Scotia fuels university archivist Michael Moosberger.

HIS FOCUS

Dalhousie’s archivist Michael Moosberger also serves as associate university librarian for research and scholarly communication and heads the Geographical Information Sciences Centre. His particular passion is the archivist’s role, in which he’s continually building a collection of documents, images and other materials that support teaching and research at Dalhousie—and which contribute to the historical record of both the university and the province. “You build relationships across the gamut of Nova Scotia society. That’s what makes the job as exciting and interesting as it is,” says Moosberger.

HIGHLIGHTS

Moosberger cites the increasing accessibility of Dal’s archives among his proudest achievements. With over 167,000 searchable descriptions and digital objects now available in the Access to Memory (AtoM) database, “people don’t need to see the original item—they can access the material online.” Moosberger expects the digital collection to include close to 500,000 items by the time Dal celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018, a milestone for which he’s also exploring potential projects like an oral history program and an illustrated history.

WHY I DO IT

“You build relationships across the gamut of Nova Scotia society. That’s what makes the job as exciting and interesting as it is.”

Moosberger’s love of history has only grown as his work has evolved beyond looking into the past toward a more proactive reimagining of the archivist’s role. He’s collaborating with researchers to ensure current records are preserved for future generations—archiving on the “front end of records creation.” Of his 15-year career at Dalhousie, Moosberger says he’s grateful and excited to be part of a culture of big ideas, new and old. “If you’re going to be an archivist in Canada, working in an academic archive is the best position you could conceivably get into,” he says.