Staff Spotlight: Meet Rachel Jacobson

Rachel Jacobson-Staff Spotlight

1. Name, job title, and location: Rachel Jacobson, Digital Repository and Preservation Librarian, Lauinger first floor

2. What do you do - in 10 words or less? Manage the publication and preservation of a variety of resources. 

3. Where are you from? Northern Virginia.

4. Do you have any hobbies? Yes, where do I start . . . the ones I do with the most regularity are: bake with my starter (it has an interesting origin story), workout with a neighborhood group in Mt. Pleasant, D.C., and read.

5. What are you reading/watching/playing/listening to/learning right now? Reading - The Coyote’s Bicycle by Kimball Taylor (I love reading books written by journalists). Watching - The Big Door Prize on Apple TV. Listening - I love to make eclectic playlists, especially for my bicycle commute. I listen to “Up First” every day and when I work from home I have playing WAMU live stream the majority of the time.

6. There are lots of things happening on campus in the first few weeks of the fall semester. What do you like best about starting a new academic year? I haven't worked at a university since graduate school, over five years ago. But I love the transitional seasons, fall and spring, because it makes you feel like you can start a new hobby or habit. 

7. What's your favorite season? I feel lucky to live in a place that gets all the seasons, but I think spring may be my favorite. I appreciate that you can still wear layers, the spring greenery, and by the time spring weather kicks in I'm usually tired of being cold. I also like that the days are getting lighter longer.

8. What's your superpower/hidden talent? I once cooked through the alphabet in about three months using only NYT Cooking recipes; everything I made might not have been perfect, but it was all enjoyable.

9. You are building your dream house. What is one room or feature you would want to include? My dream house would be over 100 years old with a lot of quirky features, character, hidden nooks, windows, and a balcony.

10. If you didn’t work in your current field, what would you be doing? Maybe still doing object conservation. Between undergrad and graduate school I worked in that field. The last job I held before deciding to go to graduate school for public history was conservation technician at the Carnegie Museum of Art. I still love the painstaking, detail oriented work conservation requires but the chemistry was too much. It was in that last job where I realized chemistry wasn’t just a hurdle to get past in order to get into graduate school; to be a good conservator you really need to understand why things react the way they do. I pivoted to public history and haven’t looked back.