Month: March 2016

Archivist Interview: Samantha Sauer

Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

Hi, I’m Samantha Sauer. I have a bit of a long title, so here it goes: I am the Illinois College Archivist and Curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum. I can be contacted by email ( or by phone (217.245.3595). You’ll likely find me either in the basement of Schewe Library in the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives or in Whipple Hall at Congressional Office Museum.

Samantha Sauer - DSC_0005 (1)What do you do at The Khalaf al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College?

I get to do several different things at IC. As the archivist, my duties include organizing, processing, and managing archival materials. The Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives are located in the basement of Schewe Library, so I also collaborate with the library team. As the curator, I work with the Congressional Office Museum to interpret and manage its collection, with an overall goal of increased campus and community accessibility.

How long have you been at Illinois College, and what led you here?

I just started at IC, and I was led here by the chance to to work with both an archive and a museum collection. I enjoy working with both people (museum public programs, classes, tours, outreach….) and “stuff” (collections, artifacts, documents….), so the range of this position was enticing. Additionally Illinois College has a beautiful new facility with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives, and many faculty, staff, and community members have worked a long time to have this space – so it’s a really exciting time to be here! I look forward to working with everyone.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

Currently I’m getting my feet wet and exploring the archive and Congressional Office Museum. I’m discovering what we have and drafting some short- and long-term goals and projects. My ultimate goal is to make the archives and museum accessible and engaging sites of research and reflection for the IC students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Jacksonville community.

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

I’m not sure how exciting this is, but I grew up in a home that collected film posters, especially pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. As a result I likely watched more black and white films than color movies, which helped shape my interest in history, museums, material culture, and storytelling. Looking back, I definitely knew more about Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff than say Mario and, what was the other plumber’s name? Was there another? (See?)