To Whom it May Concern:

My name is Madeline Fendley; I finished the MSIS program at the University of Texas School of Information in May of 2012 with a focus in archives and preservation. I am seeking a position as an audiovisual archivist, hoping to work to preserve and create broad access to the unique and fragile materials in audiovisual collections. With a background in records management and two years of experience working with film and audio materials, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your organization and the community.

The images and audio recordings held in audiovisual collections contain a unique perspective of our culture’s history. Their ability to depict the daily lives, emotions, and behaviors of their subjects is often overlooked in traditional archives. These important materials are abundant and are being acquired at an overwhelming pace. The scope of the material, coupled with their simultaneous and rapid deterioration, makes the work done by audiovisual archives both invaluable and urgent. With the knowledge gained from my coursework and experience, I offer specialized skills in handling the materials in your collection.

My coursework was largely focused in archival practice, preservation theory, and digitization of multiple mediums. Through class projects, I worked with paper documents, negatives, photographs, cassette tapes, magnetic reel-to-reel tape, various audio discs, film, and VHS. I have experience arranging and housing the aforementioned materials, in addition to their cleaning and reformatting. I volunteered at the Harry Ransom Center in the film collection, which allowed me to perform preservation work on valuable materials in several film formats, including 16mm, 35mm, and, notably, a 16mm double-system sync sound collection which incorporates both 16mm image film and 16mm full coat magnetic tape. I also have experience digitizing 16mm film at the HRC using a Sniper 1600, and I regularly created high-quality access copies for the archive on DVD. At my internship at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, my work was primarily content-based. I performed descriptive cataloging and indexing on many collections, giving me experience in extensive, detailed research and creating access points. I also gained technological expertise at TAMI, using Filemaker Pro, MediaWiki, and GlifosMedia, as I created records for videos and populated fields on the website. I contributed to the creation of accompanying educational materials and curated several high-profile collections for the online library. At both the HRC and TAMI, I was given a good deal of autonomy to carry out my work. While adhering strictly to the standards of the institution, I learneded how to most effectively perform my job duties and to make informed decisions based on previous experience and best practices. My attention to detail,  ability to work easily with playback equipment and web applications, and appreciation of the content made my work thorough, efficient, and valuable to the organizations.

My work as a teaching assistant in the iSchool’s IT Lab allowed me to greatly enhance my knowledge of computer and network systems, available software and hardware, open source applications, content management systems, and mark-up languages. My position provided me with experience in instruction of current technologies to fellow graduate students and faculty and extensive troubleshooting, and while I attained a solid skill set, the most valuable skill I gained is learning to answer questions to which I do not know the answer. Problems with technology are not always obvious, and because there are so many programs available, I was often required to help with a software or coding language that was foreign to me. My learned ability to identify the problem, find possible solutions in online literature, intuitively and quickly learn to use the program in question, and efficiently work to solve the problem is an invaluable asset. I demonstrated similar initiative when building the iSchool’s podcast, iSchool You, with a team of colleagues. We conceived of the podcast then pieced it together, learning to create a workflow, build a website, use recording equipment, and edit audio recordings. My role as assistant producer built my management skills of supervision, decision-making, and delegation. My technological knowledge, initiative, and mangement skills, combined with my extensive practical experience in audiovisual collections, would make me an ideal candidate for a position as an audiovisual archivist.

Thank you for your considering me for a position in your organization. Please review my CV, and contact me if you have any further questions. I can be reached by email at I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.


Madeline Fendley