Virginia Gov. Ralph Northan re-appointed Aaron Purcell, University Libraries director of Special Collections, to serve on the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board (VSHRAB).

The Governor's Office made the official announcement on Nov. 30, 2018.

VSHRAB works to promote an understanding of the importance of historical records to ensure their preservation. The board represents an important group of cultural heritage professionals with deep knowledge of archives, libraries, museums, and private collections in their state and region. The board’s goal is to better coordinate and communicate with the public about the value of historical material found across the Commonwealth.

A member since 2009, Purcell is the longest serving member of the group and is now in his second, three-year appointment, lasting through Oct. 31, 2021. The first board members were appointed in 1976 by former Virginia Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr., one year after passing the Virginia Public Records Act.

The 11-member citizen board is the central advisory body for historical records planning in Virginia. They survey repositories, support the Library of Virginia's records management program, promote the sharing of collection information, organize training, and encourage the professional development of archivists, curators, volunteers, and others dedicated to the task of caring for Virginia's documentary heritage.The membership represents all the regions of Virginia.

“I’m excited to continue service on the VSHRAB because this type of volunteer group is a natural extension of Virginia Tech’s land grant mission of service,” said Purcell.

Purcell has served the University Libraries at Virginia Tech since November 2007, and previously the University of Tennessee as university archivist. He holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Tennessee and is the author of several books in the fields of history and archives. His most recent book is an edited volume, The Digital Archives Handbook: A Guide to Creation, Management, and Preservation available February 2019.

— Written by Elise Monsour Puckett