Mary deVries

Project Archivist
Santa Cruz
When did you start in your current position?:
Jan 01, 2016
Years in LAUC: 

How did you become interested in librarianship?

After aging out of my first career, I started to think about places where I loved spending time- where I would enjoy the work. In the distant past when I wasn’t in school or in the ballet studio, I spent most of my time, very happily, in the library. Of course I didn’t realize that library school would involve things like designing databases!

Describe the first time you worked in a library.

After an internship in Special Collections at UCSC, I was offered a contract to help implement the collection management system Archivists’ Toolkit, do a collection analysis, and start to process campus historical photographs for the University’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 

What do you like best about being a UC librarian?

I greatly appreciate the richness of the collections, the frustrations and satisfactions of processing, and the joy of sharing archival materials with students and researchers. I enjoy the creative, dedicated (and fun!) people I work with, and the greater UC network available to us.

Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.

I’m currently processing a really interesting collection of photographic materials, the Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Photographs. Baruch and Jones met at the first photography class of the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, in the 1940s. Their teachers and colleagues included Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Imogene Cunningham.  They lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are probably best known for their Black Panther photographs, and for Jones’ collaboration with Dorothea Lange on Death of a Valley, which records the last year of the town of Monticello before the dam flooded the Berryessa Valley.

The collection is extensive and complicated, with many opportunities for deciphering legacy inventories. It has also given us great exhibit materials, and we just used Ruth-Marion Baruch’s Haight-Ashbury 1967 photographs in the exhibition "Love on Haight: the Grateful Dead and San Francisco in 1967" ( in UCSC’s Dead Central exhibition space, in addition to lending materials to the de Young Museum for their Summer of Love exhibition, and to the Oakland Museum for their All Power to the People Black Panther exhibition.

Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.

I recently participated in a Lightening Round at the annual meeting of the Society of California Archivists, "Documenting Diversity," where I discussed the context and significance of the extremely controversial exhibition at the de Young Museum in 1968, "The Black Panthers: A photographic essay by Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones."

What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?

Increasing access to, and diversity within, primary source materials and collections.

Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”

like Carrie Bradshaw, I used to have my photograph on the side of bus. In Madrid.

Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?

I just saw Wonder Woman with my daughters, which was great escapism. A longstanding favorite movie is the very quirky Truly Madly Deeply.

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