Today is the last day for the Law Library’s Postdoctoral Fellow for the Digital Humanities and colleague-extraordinaire, Randi Flaherty. Randi’s contribution to advancing the work of Special Collections is difficult to calculate. It was Randi who inspired many of the updated interfaces and designs of our websites generally and, importantly, re-investigated the Scottish Court of Sessions papers, persuasively arguing for their digitization. She has provided a model for our outreach efforts by identifying compelling documents and objects from our collections and writing deeply-researched and compelling blog posts [link, link] and essays. She tirelessly engaged with our entire library staff and eloquently contributed to advancing the mission of the library and its archives while laying out a compelling vision for our future. I personally have come to implicitly trust her judgement and have repeatedly relied on her to help tackle problems and envision new possibilities. Without a doubt, she has laid out an exciting path for us and we will sorely miss her contributions and wonderful personality. Her next adventure as a fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies offers her an unparalleled opportunity to complete her book project based of the research she did in her dissertation. Much the same as she was here, she will most certainly be an astounding colleague there. We wish her the best of luck.
Amidst our sadness at Randi’s departure, we are very excited to welcome our next Fellow, James “Jim” Ambuske. Jim defended his dissertation this summer on Scottish soldiers and immigration to the American Colonies and Early Republic. Jim has also worked extensively with institutions around Virginia and the British Commonwealth to design digital research tools for accessing and analyzing archival collections. Jim will be taking over the Scottish Papers digitization project as well as helping continue our outreach efforts.