BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is a collections powerhouse. The university is home to many well-known and heavily used collections, such as those in the Lilly Library of Rare Books, the Eskenazi Museum of Art, and the Kinsey Institute. Add to that some 50 collections of material objects numbering around 30 million individual objects spread across IU’s campuses, schools, and departments.
In his 2017 State of the University address, President Michael A. McRobbie announced the creation of a new executive director for university collections position, with the charge to ensure “that all the university’s collections are properly housed, maintained, utilized, and curated” and that “these very important and valuable assets become better known, more fully utilized in IU’s research and teaching missions, and more fully appreciated by the IU community and the general public.”
Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate has announced that Heather K. Calloway has been named to the newly created position as IU’s first executive director for university collections.
In her new role, Calloway will have broad responsibility for the stewardship of IU’s myriad collections, consistent with the university’s teaching, research, and service missions. This will include working with collection managers, faculty, university and campus leadership, and others to develop a strategic vision for IU’s collections systemwide, including criteria for evaluating existing and proposed future collections. Calloway will work with collection managers and others to seek appropriate funding to support collections and to make them broadly accessible to researchers at IU and other institutions, and where appropriate, to the public.
Calloway has 17 years of experience in archivist and curator roles. In her most recent position, she served as archivist and special collections librarian for Washington College in Chestertown, Md., where she was responsible for collection development, preservation, and conservation as well as collections appraisal, exhibition curation, and digital resources management. Prior to this position, she spent 14 years at the headquarters of the Scottish Rite Freemasons in Washington, D.C. As museum curator and managing director of digital and social media there, she managed a $4 million renovation of museum and collection space as well as instituted new approaches to museum tours, exhibits, and collection access.
"We are delighted that Heather has agreed to take on this new and Important role," Vice President Cate said, "and I am grateful to the members of the search committee and the many others who helped us find and recruit Heather."
IU’s collections extend across its seven campuses, including the Frederick Douglas Papers Project and the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies on the IUPUI campus, and many others. Through its Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, the university has established itself internationally as a leader in digital preservation. Announced by President McRobbie in 2013, MDPI is digitally preserving and providing access to all significant audio, video, and film recordings on all IU campuses, with a completion goal of 2020. To date, MDPI experts have preserved 300,676 out of 325,000 audio and video materials and 6,001 out of 25,000 film reels. IU’s material objects collections encompass artwork; manuscripts; maps; photographs; textiles and clothing; furniture; archeological, paleological, botanical, and geological specimens; and medical and surgical instruments.