Submission to GLAM & Free Culture track: Submissions/Opening the vault of the Folger Shakespeare Library: an ongoing institutional case study
Erin Blake is Head of Collection Information Services at the Folger Shakespeare Library, an independent research library in Washington, DC, specializing in Shakespeare and Early Modern Europe. The Head of Collection Information Services manages all aspects of information technology for library operations (including the Voyager integrated library system and the LUNA digital image collection), and supervises operations in Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Metadata Creation.
Erin came to the Folger in 2000, as Curator of Art. During her 14 years as a Folger curator, Erin was heavily involved in technical services. She spearheaded the cataloging of art in Hamnet, including retrospective conversion of the card catalog, and helped develop the digital image collection. Throughout, she acted as the back-up person and consultant on collection-related systems and databases. Having been a curator who could also reboot servers, edit configuration files, and prepare catalog records for bulk upload, she moved to the other side of the equation in 2014, becoming a Head of Collection Information Services who fully understands the library's rich collection and researchers' needs.
Outside the Folger, Erin was chief editor of Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Graphics), the freely-available national standard for art cataloging in libraries, and has served on the Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (RBMS). She is also a faculty member of Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, where she teaches "Introduction to the History of Book Illustration" every other summer. Erin holds a B.A. (Hons.) in History and Art History from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University.