Kaye Lanning Minchew is Executive Director of the Troup County Archives and Legacy Museum on Main in LaGrange, GA. She was appointed director of the Archives in 1985. She has developed that institution into a model local government records repository and local history program. In 2008, SAA Council honored the Troup County Archives with its Exemplary Service Award.
Kaye is a Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists, a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, and a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. She has been active in SGA, serving as President in 1989; member of the Board of Editors of Provenance, 2009-2013; Newsletter Editor, 1983-84; Scholarship Committee Chair, 1994; Annual Meeting Committee, 1984, 1990, 1997; and Nominating Committee, 1999, 2009. She testified before Congress in 2010 on behalf of the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators (NAGARA) about the need for funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In 2015, she was appointed by NAGARA to serve as their representative to NHPRC.
She is author of articles and national conference papers on creating an archives and local government records. Kaye has been a member of the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council since 1993 and has served as its chair on two different occasions. She is the author of a forthcoming book by UGA Press about FDR in Georgia.
Describe how SGA has influenced your development as a professional.
Joining SGA has helped me develop as a professional archivist. The first piece of mail I received when I moved to Georgia in 1982 came from SGA. Networking with colleagues from around the state helped me expand my understanding of the archival profession and Georgia. They have always been willing to share advice and have been generous with their support! Since so many of my Georgia archival colleagues were active on the national level, it seemed natural to soon start attending national meetings and seeking ways to actively participate.
What advice would you give a student or individual considering a career in archives?
My advice to someone considering a career in archives is to realize that archives is a wonderful profession but not necessarily the easiest way to riches or fame! That said, if I had it to do over again, I would still go into the archival field. It is a great way to use history on a daily basis, plus you often combine reference, research, arrangement, and technology. The job is always varied! I have always been proud to say I am an archivist.
Describe one of your fondest professional memories or a highlight of your career in archives.
I was certainly proud to be able to testify before Congress on behalf of NHPRC but I got the most comments from family and friends when I spent an evening with actor/director Billy Bob Thornton on a movie set in Troup County. I had helped secure the location of the historic home so I joined folks from the Chamber of Commerce at the closed set. Friends seemed much more impressed by that evening than by most other things I have done in my professional career.
My fondest SGA memory is from a spring meeting at Agrirama in Tifton in the early 1980s. I know this is one of Sheryl Vogt’s favorite SGA memories as well. This was my first Spring meeting of SGA and was a great welcome to the group. Many lasting friendships have resulted from such gatherings over the years.