As archivist, Michele Nielsen ’99 is in charge of keeping the University’s history alive.
Along with assistant Raisa Arreola ’12, Nielsen is the caretaker of important documents, some dating back to the beginning of the University. Together, the pair are valuable resources, able to answer questions about the history of Redlands and put together displays that use artifacts to educate. “There are many ways we can share the treasures in the archives with people,” Nielsen said. “It’s not just having things under wraps but finding vehicles to share stories and photos. That’s the fun.”
The Archives are kept filled thanks to donations from alumni and faculty members, who drop off or mail in everything from scrapbooks to athletic uniforms. “I find the beginning process of cataloging a collection fascinating,” Arreola said. “Opening a box that has an ‘unprocessed’ label or a recent donation can be so exhilarating. It is like opening an unwrapped present.”
No item is too small for the Archives, as each piece is important to the telling of the collective story. “Things matter,” Nielsen said. “Whether it’s something meant to be thrown away like a program for an event or a scrap of paper that someone had their schedule written on in 1921, we can glean so much information.”
To donate to the University Archives or to schedule a time to view materials in the collection, call 909-748-8449, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the third floor of the Armacost Library, room 316.