Jen Wachtel

Archivist | Aficionada of Access

“I became an archivist to share my passion for history and facilitate access to archival records, not to hoard knowledge.”

Work at HAI

As an archivist and public historian, Jen applies her knowledge and experience working with a variety of collections and clients to her work at HAI. At HAI, Jen collaborates with other archivists and collections managers on archival arrangement and description projects for government and private organizations. Her first client is the San Juan Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service).

Path to HAI

A lifelong lover of history, Jen worked in archives, libraries, and museums primarily in Maryland and Washington, DC before joining HAI in 2021. Jen got started in archives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Special Collections in undergrad. While in graduate school, Jen worked at the University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, where she co-curated an archival gallery exhibition about labor history and social justice, processed archival collections about American public broadcasting, and facilitated joint collections-as-data opportunities for the University of Maryland Libraries and iSchool. In addition, she worked on multiple digital collections projects at the iSchool Digital Curation Innovation Center. Jen also brings to HAI her experience interning at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Maryland Center for History and Culture, District Department of Transportation Library (Washington, DC), Jewish Museum of Maryland, Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, and National Electronics Museum.

Jen earned her Master of Arts (MA) in History and Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Maryland. Her specializations were Modern Europe and Archives and Digital Curation, respectively. In addition, Jen completed a graduate certificate in Museum Scholarship and Material Culture, where she designed a joint historic preservation and archives practicum with Preservation Maryland and the University of Maryland Libraries. She received her BA in History from UMBC in 2015, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with minors in German, Judaic Studies, and Art History.