Interview with Jeremy Linden

Jeremy is the Head of Archives and Special Collections, State University of New York at Fredonia. He has been working at Fredonia since 2006 – before that he held various titles in various jobs, including, in no particular order of significance, curator, consultant, crawlspace contortionist, circulation assistant, and contractor. Linden jokes, "it’s nice to have a title with a different first letter".

Jeremy LindenName:
Jeremy Linden

Where were you born?
Jamestown, NY

What was your professional training?
I have an MA in History and an MLS with a concentration in Archives from the University of Maryland. I have the good fortune of actually working in the field that I did my graduate work in.    

What was your very first job?
Weekends, summer vacations, and holidays with the family HVAC/Plumbing business.  I've always told myself that if archives didn’t work out, it's always nice to have a skill.

What would your dream job be?
This is a trick question, right?  I'm supposed to either say the one that I have, or working for IPI?  But really - something where I have the opportunity to lead, imagine, create, and teach, all while getting paid for it – so far things have worked out pretty well.

How did your partnership with IPI begin?
I first became acquainted with the PEMs and Climate Notebook in 2002.  The first data set that I examined that told us that a "priceless" oil painting stored in a specially-designed vault with constant environmental conditions had a TWPI of 35 years had me hooked!  I first started talking and working more closely with IPI when I got back to western New York, sometime around 2004, through the Western New York Library Resources Council.

Why does the preservation of museum and library collections matter to you?
Regardless of our professions, we are all students of history – the changes and decisions that we make, the ideas that we hold true, all have their basis in the past.  Without the preservation of information we would lose the perspective and context that allows us to make "informed" decisions as we move into the future.

What is your favorite work of art or your favorite artist?
I'm a fan of nature art in various media, ranging from painting and photography to sculpture – a few favorites are David Maass, Eric Berg, and Robert Bateman.  Beyond that – modern art confuses me, but I like abstract/experimental photography.  Go figure.

What other hobbies or significant interests do you have?
Birding, hiking, hunting, gardening – if it gets me outside, I'm happy.

What book (or books) would you take with you to a desert island?
That would depend on what island I was on – I'd want the most applicable field guide available. 

What is your most treasured possession?
My grip on reality.

What is your greatest indulgence?
My love of science fiction.

What was the most surprising thing to you about IPI?
That you’ve been able to adjust, and expand, your expertise over time, all while remaining true to, and expert in, your original concern with images.