Elizabeth Barret, Archive Director
Barret is a native of Hazard, KY and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is a former Board member of the Kentucky Historical Society and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts, a Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, a Kentucky Arts Council Fellowship in Media Arts, and grant awards from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her documentary work has screened at festivals and venues worldwide. The award winning STRANGER WITH A CAMERA (2000), a self-reflexive exploration of issues of media representation, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast via PBS as part of the series POV, the longest running showcase for independent non-fiction film. Most recently Barret has been serving as Co-Director and Co-Producer with photographer Wendy Ewald to create the documentary Portraits and Dreams. Barret’s work is shaped by the history, culture, and social issues of Appalachia. She is part of the founding generation within the artist-centered organization Appalshop (now marking its 50th year) where her films/videos are produced and distributed. As Archive Director, she manages and has secured grants for a range of projects that safeguard and improve access to the regional collections held in the Archive as well as launching initiatives that engage the public in discussion and reflection on shared history. Among others, current projects include the NEH Creating Humanities Communities Challenge grant for These Roots Run Deep: Connecting Communities Through Foodways
Caroline Rubens, Archivist
Rubens joined the Appalshop staff in 2007. She manages Appalshop’s archival holdings, facilitates access to the collections, and works with the Archive Director to plan and execute public programming. Rubens holds an MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and advocates in various forums for the preservation of independent and community media. She has participated in professional and scholarly conferences, presenting on topics ranging from Appalshop’s experiences in establishing an independent regional repository to the creative re-use of archival materials. She believes that enriching the archival records of historically underrepresented groups encourages new scholarship and understanding, and helps communities and individuals to re-envision the future. While a native of northern New Jersey, Rubens is happy to call eastern Kentucky home. She is still, however, a Mets fan.
Past staff acknowledgements
Shawn Lind, Archive Technician: Shawn Lind made major contributions towards improving access to the Archive’s catalog by inventorying the vast film and video collections, managing and performing the digital transfer of obsolete media, and helping to physically stabilize and perform upkeep on the collections.
Alexia Ault, Project Processor performed a significant amount of enhanced description and catalog data entry for multiple formats of collection materials, as well as scanning of objects that comprise our Common Heritage collection.
Dwight Swanson and Chad Hunter, Archivists: The Archive’s first two professional staff archivists, Swanson and Hunter took essential steps in stabilizing the collections by managing construction of a climate-controlled vault and establishing an item-level inventory system. They also established a film preservation program for the organization’s earliest documentaries and musical recordings, and created re-release projects to connect Appalshop works to new audiences.