David Ferriero

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Topic: A Conversation with David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

Location: Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn

Introduction / Moderator:  Rodney Erickson / Katie O’Toole

The Honorable David S. Ferriero was sworn in as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 13, 2009.

The Archivist of the United States, appointed by the President of the United States, is the head of the National Archives and Records Administration, an agency of the Executive Branch of the Government. The agency is responsible for providing guidance to the White House and the Executive Branch agencies and departments on the creation and maintenance of their records. It oversees the transfer to the National Archives of the permanently valuable records of the federal government and makes them available for study. Those records include the Oaths of Allegiance signed by George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  

This collection translates into about 12 billion sheets of paper, 40 million photographs, miles and miles of video and film, and more than 5.3 billion electronic records. The records are housed in facilities around the country, from Anchorage, Alaska to Atlanta, Georgia– including 2 Washington, DC, area buildings, 14 Regional Archives, 17 Federal Records Centers, and 13 Presidential Libraries, and the National Personnel Records Center.

Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). In this position he was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the 4 research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users; and was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience and strategy; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.

Before joining the NYPL in 2004, Mr. Ferriero served in top positions at two of the nation’s major academic libraries, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, and Duke University in Durham, NC.  

Mr. Ferriero earned bachelors and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science, also in Boston. He served as a hospital corpsman in the Navy during the Vietnam War.