Governance Team

Governance Documents

The Governance Team has introduced the Principles of Collaboration for ARVAS. Members are invited to review the Principles and offer their feedback. The published document includes a link to a Google document where comments can be made.


Jessi Bennett

Jessi Bennett

Jessi Bennett is the Digital Collections Specialist at the Library of Virginia. She helps maintain and create digital archival collections entrusted to the Library of Virginia by the state government and private donors as well as promote these collections to the public.  She is responsible for several digital archival projects including the Virginia Yearbook Digitization Project and Transcribe, LVA’s crowd-sourced transcription platform. She received her BA in English and History from Rutgers University, and her MLIS and MA in History from Simmons University and has worked in both government and academic archives in Boston and Richmond. Her research interests include the Virginia Merci Train gifts, new trends in digital humanities, and adding photographs to

Lynn Eaton, Chair

Lynn Eaton is Director of the Special Collections Research Center at the George Mason University Libraries. In this capacity, she works with an amazing staff to provide special collections and records management support to the university, and beyond. She is an active member of SAA and MARAC. In 2019, the SCRC received a CLIR grant for digitizing audio-visual materials. In 2020, they were awarded an NEH grant to process the papers of the economist James M. Buchanan. She holds a BA in English from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a Master’s in College Student Personnel Services from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and her MLS from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her research interests include leadership, digital collections, outreach, and community engagement.

Jay Gaidmore

Jay Gaidmore is the Marian and Alan McLeod Director of Special Collections at the William & Mary Libraries. His primary responsibilities are outreach, fundraising and stewardship, collection development, and management of the department that acquires, preserves, and makes accessible the rare books, manuscripts, and university archives held in the Earl Gregg Swem Library. He has served on the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board and been active in both MARAC and SAA. During his almost twenty years as an archivist, he has worked at the Library of Virginia, Brown University, and UNC-Chapel Hill. He received his MA in History from Old Dominion University and his MLIS from the University of South Carolina.

Lori Hostuttler

Lori Hostuttler is the Interim Director of the West Virginia & Regional History Center at WVU Libraries. She has 20 years of experience working in libraries and museums. In her current role, Lori leads curatorial staff, works with donors, and manages day to day operations at the History Center. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (Social Studies) and a Master of History (Public History) both from West Virginia University. She earned her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. Lori is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Appalachian Studies Association, the West Virginia Library Association, the West Virginia Museum Association, and the Western Pennsylvania West Virginia Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries.  She serves as the West Virginia Caucus Chair (through 2024) and as a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee of Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. Lori’s professional interests include archival outreach, teaching with primary sources, leadership, as well as West Virginia and Appalachian history. 

Elizabeth James

Elizabeth D. James is a Digital Archivist with the West Virginia & Regional History Center at West Virginia University. She works to preserve and make accessible born digital and digitized materials documenting the Appalachian experience. Elizabeth received her BA in History and History of Art from Yale University and her MS in Library and Information Science with an emphasis in Archives Management from Simmons University. Her areas of interest include using cultural heritage metadata as data for teaching, discovery, and research; non-traditional forms of engagement with digital archival materials; and exploring how technology can help leverage digitized and digital archives to further scholarship, discovery, and use of cultural heritage materials.

Karen King

Karen King, William & Mary, Governance team member

Karen King is a Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) assistant at the William & Mary Libraries. Her primary responsibilities include overseeing project management duties in the collections database migration to ArchivesSpace, facilitating digitization projects spearheaded by the SCRC, serving as a liaison between the SCRC and Digital Services, fulfilling patron digitization requests, and processing collections. She received her BFA in computer animation from James Madison University and an MLIS from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. She enjoys gardening with a focus on supporting local wildlife, kayaking, and backpacking.  

Jodi Koste

Jodi Koste is University Archivist for Virginia Commonwealth University and Head of Special Collections and Archives at the Health Sciences Library, VCU Libraries. She holds a BA and MA degrees in history from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is an active member of MARAC, SAA, ALHHS–the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences, and the American Association for the History of Medicine where she serves as executive secretary. Her research interests include nursing history, Civil War medicine, and archival education.

Aaron Purcell

Aaron D. Purcell is director of special collections at Virginia Tech. In addition to serving on the Virginia Heritage Governance Team, he is a member of the State Historical Records Advisory Board, the SAA Publications committee, and active member of MARAC. He is the author of six books and twenty articles on archival and historical topics, ranging from working with donors, the early years of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the slave trade in Appalachia.  His next book on managing digital programs in libraries and archives due from ALA in the fall. He received his MA in history from the University of Louisville, MLS from the University of Maryland, and PhD in history from the University of Tennessee. He enjoys quiet walks and tasty beers with family and friends.

Laura Gilmour Stoner

Laura Stoner is the Associate Archivist for Business Collections at the Virginia Historical Society. She received her BA from Randolph-Macon College in History, and her MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. She started in the field as an archival technician at the VHS in 1999. Laura processes mainly large 20th/21st-century business collections and has written several finding aids including ones for Best Products, The Sydney and Frances Lewis Collection, A. H. Robins, and the Lane Company. She enjoys linking history and technology to better facilitate discovery, cooking, and traveling with her family.

Courtney Tkacz

Courtney Tkacz is the Senior Archivist at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is responsible for managing all of the permanent records at the VMFA, including institutional records from all museum departments, artist and subject files, the museum publications archive, and special collections related to the museum and the history of art in Virginia. She directs the Virginia Artists Archives, a collecting initiative that aims to create a rich, diverse, and unprecedented collection of Virginia artists’ papers to increase awareness about the contributions of Virginia artists, both past and present. She also manages the archives’ digital projects, including digitization, metadata creation and reuse, and website development. Courtney has a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and an MLIS in Public and Academic Librarianship from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been employed at the VMFA in different roles since 2003.

Bob Vay

Bob Vay is the Digital Collections and Exhibitions Archivist at the Special Collections Research Center in the George Mason University Libraries. He has been employed by the Libraries since 1993. His main responsibilities include leading and participating in digitization projects of textual, visual, and sound materials and creating digital as well as physical exhibitions. He oversees the George Mason University Oral History Program and is a member of SAA, MARAC, ARSC, and OHA. Bob has a BA in American Studies and an MA in History, both from George Mason. He has also successfully completed SAA’s Certified Archivist and Digital Archives Specialist programs.

Governance Meeting Minutes