Xaviera Flores: Archiving a successful future

Xaviera Flores, alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Xaviera Flores, alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University Libraries have a long history of investing in students and their success outside of the classroom. A great example of this investment and the creation of a fantastic lifelong learner is Xaviera Flores. Flores graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2007, earning a degree in film studies with minors in communications, French and sociology.

Flores started with Archives & Special Collections as an incoming first-year student. She was able to be part of the Summer Institute for Promising Scholars (SIPS) in the summer of 2004. As an intern, she worked on archival projects and helped the archivists mend, iron and preserve documents. After this experience, Flores went on to work in the archives for the next three years while completing her degree.

“I was lucky enough to be a part of the UCARE program as a freshman because I did the SIPS program the summer before, and I was excited to be able to do my own research,” said Flores.

For the next two years, Flores worked in the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) program, which gave her the opportunity to do her own research and learn all about projects that involve the archives.

“My first year, I focused on audiovisual materials because I was a film studies major. The second year, I got to work on my own project about people of color that attended the University of Nebraska, like George Flippin, the first African American football player at UNL,” said Flores.

After gaining grant-writing skills and archival experience, Flores went on to earn a master’s degree in library science at Simmons College in Boston. It was from her time as an intern in the university archives that Flores discovered a passion for preserving the past and so now is a librarian and archivist at the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I had amazing supervisors who mentored me and encouraged me to learn. They were supportive of the pursuit of library sciences; I was more than a student intern; it was a great hands-on opportunity, and I carry that experience with me always,” Flores said.

Flores now uses the skills she learned at the Libraries to educate her community and spread awareness about preserving history as it happens. This incredible experience in the university archives helped shape Flores’s future career, moved her all over the country, and taught her that archives can help people today and tomorrow.

Contributor: Brynna Shaffer, Communications Peer Guide