Meet the Team: Laura Marion

Hey there! I’m Laura Marion, the Project Archivist at Governor’s House Library. I started working in St. Augustine about eight months ago as one of eight project team members on a grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). As an interruption to our regular programming here on the blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself and give you all a look into what I’m up to every day at Governor’s House Library!

A color photograph of Collections Coordinator Matt pointing at a map on a table while Project Archivist Laura looks on
Project Archivist Laura and Collections Coordinator Matt.

A little bit about me: I’m the newest staff member and Florida resident on the team. I’m originally from a small town in South Carolina not too far from Charlotte. I’m a graduate of Wofford College and of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Before I moved to Saint Augustine, I lived on Nantucket Island and worked for the Nantucket Historical Association as the manager of their institutional records. I guess I have a thing for living on islands and working with old buildings!

Our current project is “Opening St. Augustine: Preserving and Providing Access to 450 Years of American History”. The main goal is to make the Governor’s House Library collections as accessible as possible, and my contribution to the grant is identifying, organizing, and describing our archival collections. On a normal day I find myself going through collection material, doing background research on the more mysterious documents, making notes to share with the rest of the project team, and finding the coolest items and stories in the collection to share with all of you on our Facebook, Instagram, and the blog. I recently finished reorganizing our Map Collection and I’m currently working with the Architectural Drawings Collection. This is a particularly interesting part of our holdings, since the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board led the restoration and reconstruction of so many structures in the historic downtown.

As I work on my initial identification and assessment, I’m finding a never-ending supply of fascinating drawings. It’s almost like going on a treasure hunt every day, because I never know what I’m going to find! These drawings tell us so much about downtown St. Augustine and how much it changed in the 20th century. So far, many of my favorites are drawings and blueprints of the Governor’s House. The presence of a structure on the property remains a constant throughout almost all of St. Augustine’s history, but that structure has gone through many evolutions in the past four centuries. The bright blue set of Governor’s House drawings pictured below comes from a Works Progress Administration renovation and extension project when it was still a U.S. Post Office and Custom House in the 1930’s.

A color photograph of architectural plans layered on top of each other.
Architectural plans for the U.S. Post Office and Custom House, now known as Governor’s House.

Look out in the coming weeks and months for more updates on what’s going on at the library, as well as more introductions to the members of our project team!

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