Ever wonder what exciting new projects the many employees at NARA are working on? The “What are You Working On?” blog feature aims to introduce a variety of NARA employees and highlight some of the exciting projects we are working on around the agency. Check for this blog series on Wednesdays!
What is your name and title?
Natalie Rocchio, Archives Specialist
Where is your job located?
The Center for Legislative Archives at Archives I in Washington, DC
What is your job in a nutshell?
I work on a wide variety of projects for the Center. For the past two years I’ve been working to get a major description project off the ground. Now that we’ve successfully finished the pilot phase, I’m focusing my efforts on getting the Center involved in more social media. In September 2011, I started our office’s first blog on Tumblr, Congress in the Archives. I’m also the intern coordinator for my office.
What are you working on right now? (Why is it cool/why does it matter?)
My number one project right now is social media, and, more specifically, Congress in the Archives. I really love working on the blog because I get to share so many really neat documents that a lot of people would never get to see. We are a fairly small unit within the National Archives (we only have 17 full-time staff members) for the 217,000 cubic feet (or roughly half a billion pages) of records that we hold. When people are researching at the National Archives, believe it or not, they don’t always think to look within the records of Congress for topics pertaining to their research. The blog is an amazing way to let researchers, teachers, students, and anyone else interested know that we might have something useful for them within our millions of pages of records.
How long have you been at NARA? Have you worked at any other NARA location?
I officially started at NARA in 2008. I interned in my office in 2007 for about four months, so I’ve worked at the Center in one way or another for a total of about 4 years now.
What has changed since you started at NARA?
NARA has gone through a series of changes since I started in 2008, but the most noticeable for me has been our participation in social media. NARA went from little or no participation in 2008 to all of this! When I started here we couldn’t even get to Facebook or Twitter, and now look at us go! Having studied public history in grad school, finding new and exciting ways to engage the public is something that I find completely fascinating. I am so happy that NARA has embraced social media with such enthusiasm, and I’m really excited to be able to get the Center more involved in those efforts!
Do you have a favorite day at NARA, or a favorite discovery or accomplishment?
Bill of Rights Day is my absolute favorite day to come to work. Every year on December 15, the National Archives hosts a swearing in ceremony for new citizens of the United States. It’s so inspiring to watch new citizens take their oath in front of the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Of course every year is a tear-jerker for me, but this year’s ceremony was exceptional thanks to our guest speaker, pastry chef Roland Mesnier. It’s truly an amazing experience!
What are your passions or interests outside of work?
My two favorite things to do outside of work include reading and traveling. I just signed up for my first 5K race, but I can’t say I love to run just yet.
What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
Last books I loved, the Hunger Games series! One of our researchers insisted that I read the series, but I kept putting it off. What was I thinking?! Like every other person I know who has read the series, I was completely obsessed. It’s an absolute must-read series. I couldn’t put my Kindle down until I was finished with all three books!