New University Archivist comes from N.C. State Archives

October 18, 2023

Ruth Cody will join the VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives department as University Archivist effective November 25, 2023.

As University Archivist, Cody will provide a leadership role for University Archives, the official repository for the records of Virginia Commonwealth University. In this role she will develop and implement policy for University Archives, build and maintain strong relationships with the university community, work to preserve the institutions’ history, and document the diverse perspectives and experiences found at VCU. Cody will work closely with both the VCU Libraries’ processing, instruction and outreach teams to ensure these materials are made available to the public and promoted through campus instruction, outreach and programming. 

At VCU, the University Archivist is a high-profile role that requires service to the university and broader community. In recent years, the University Archivist has been a critical voice in telling the story of the university's complex heritage and researching questions about our past. The previous University Archivist, Jodi Koste, for instance, played a key role in many important university initiatives including supporting the work of a researcher exploring the use of enslaved people who labored at the Medical College of Virginia, working closely with the East Marshall Street Well Project, and serving as a standing member on the Memorials and Commemoration Committee. 

The new University Archivist, recruited through a national search process, brings credentials that will assure that VCU Libraries continues to further enable the university’s understanding and knowledge of its culture and history through meticulous research, acquisition and management of records and materials.   

“I am thrilled to welcome Cody as our next University Archivist,” said Head of Special Collections and Archives Chrystal Carpenter. “She brings a wealth of archival experience working with institutional and state records from early print to born digital collections. Her collaborative approach and dedication to document, disseminate and preserve diverse voices and experiences will enhance our commitment to create a more inclusive and complete institutional history.”

Cody comes to VCU from the State Archives of North Carolina [] where she most recently worked as the Digital Access Branch Head for the Digital Services Section. In this position she managed and played a key role in digital preservation and access of state and institutional records including the development of guidelines and processes for conscious description and the migration of the Archives’ North Carolina Digital Collections site. She also planned and participated in outreach activities to promote digital collections, collaborated on preservation and processing of born digital and digitized records, and stewarded a jointly curated American Indian digital collection with North Carolina American Indian Tribes and organizations.

Previous to her appointment as Digital Access Branch Head, Cody held numerous other roles at the State Archives of North Carolina where she processed, arranged and described county and state agency records in all formats and managed access of records with complex public record laws. In addition, she worked closely with donors, communities and groups in a variety of capacities from the acquisition of materials to outreach initiatives that support underserved and historically underrepresented communities.  

Cody holds a Master of Arts in Public History with a focus in Archives and Information Management and a Bachelor of Arts in History, both from North Carolina State University. She received a certification in digital curation from Library Juice Academy in 2023 and the Society of American Archivists’ Cultural Competency certification in 2020 and 2022. 


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