On February 24, Ann Massmann, a valued member of the University of New Mexico community, died after a long struggle with cancer. An archivist and activist, Ann joined the Center for Southwest Research in 1995, where her research interests led to her collaborative work on Native American outreach initiatives, both through her work as the head of Public Services for the Anderson Reading Room, as well as her membership on the Society of American Archivists Native Americans Roundtable. Most recently, Ann had worked as an advisory faculty member with us on the Hillerman Portal project, where her insight and guidance proved invaluable in our desire to make the digital archive of Hillerman’s work continually relevant as well as accessible to tribal schools and communities, as well as other Hillerman scholars both on and off campus.
I had the opportunity to work with Ann as one of her Clinton P. Anderson fellows several years ago, and I was gratified to have the opportunity to continue to benefit from her discernment when I joined the Hillerman team as a graduate fellow in the Fall of 2013. Although the Hillerman fellows and the project's faculty advisers didn’t spend a lot of time together, it was always good to see her across the table at our meetings, or to run into her in the Anderson reading room and other haunts of Zimmerman Library’s historic West Wing. The last time I saw Ann was at my dissertation defense last November, a dissertation that was very much influenced by Ann’s friendship and mentorship.
What I remember and value the most about Ann was her passion for her work, for research, and for helping researchers, particularly in making records available and navigable to Native communities. I learned so much about archives working with Ann, but I also learned a great deal about the process of research in general. She was a huge support and influence on my dissertation research. She cared so much about the work that she did and all the people that she worked with and helped. I know that she will be deeply missed by many, many people! -- Char Peery
A memorial service will be held Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. in the Willard Reading Room at Zimmerman Library on the UNM campus.
Donations may be sent to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) email@example.com or by mail to 14 Penn Plaza, Suite 1710, New York, NY 10122.