CHARLESTON, S.C. — Katie Gray, with Charleston County Public Library’s Charleston Archives, is now a certified archivist. She is one of only 15 in the state and 1,100 nationwide to receive this certification.

Gray, a West Ashley resident, successfully passed a rigorous exam process to test her knowledge on topics like appraisal, acquisition, preservation and protection. The Academy of Certified Archivists develops the requirements and administers the test.

A library employee for 14 years, Gray has focused her attention on historic archives since 2007. The Charleston Archive features a collection of historic manuscripts, books and visual materials representing Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry. 

The Archives’ rare, fragile documents serve as a critical source for historians and provide a glimpse into the life of Charleston’s earliest residents. To make the information more accessible to the public, staff is digitizing much of the collection.

Gray says archival studies allow her to combine a love of history with the practical skills and principles learned while working in the library’s public service areas.

“Preserving the historical record is important, not just for scholars and history enthusiasts, but also for people passionate about their communities and their rights as citizens,” she said, adding that the documents provide physical proof of events and information.

The Academy of Certified Archivists is a non-profit, independent accrediting agency that promotes professional archival practices.