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Yolanda Bustos

Museum Archivist and Library Resources Manager

Yolanda directs all activities related to the museum archives, libraries, and library special collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and La Brea Tar Pits Museum.  She manages the hiring of its staff, interns, and volunteers and the development of policies and procedures, oversees general operations, develops collections, works with donors to facilitate donations of archival materials, provides research assistance to visitors, and hosts public events at the Library and Archives. Yolanda arranges, describes, and provides access to the analog and digital institutional archival collections. She also manages library holdings, services, and the rare books collection in support of the museum staff. Yolanda joined the museum in 2017 as the first professional archivist in this role and is making strides at improving collections accessibility for those who wish to use the resources. 

Yolanda holds masters degrees in both Archival Studies (MAS) and Library and Information Science (MLIS)  from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Before coming to the museum,  she worked as the archivist at the California Academy of Sciences and has previous experience in archives and libraries dating back to 2009. 

RESEARCH and interest areas

Preserving and providing access to NHMLA’s  institutional memory, rare books, and special collections

  • Developing scalable workflows and organizational systems by which physical and digital material can be described and accessed in perpetuity. 
  • Evaluating, acquiring, arranging, describing and providing access to the museum’s 100+ year history.

Digitization and long-term digital preservation of primary source materials with a goal of information equity

  • In tandem with preservation, focusing on digitizing “at risk” collections such as photographic negative collections exhibiting advanced signs of degeneration and collections which are under our copyright or out of copyright.  
  • Working in partnership with Biodiversity Heritage Library to collaboratively make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

Exploring and Creating linkages between published work, primary source materials, and NHMLA’s scientific specimens

  • Archival records such as field books record the time, date, location, and circumstances under which specimen data was collected. These detailed notes are used by researchers to retrace the steps of an expedition, understand the methodology behind a collecting trip, and confirm the details of a specific collecting event.  Current research in the archives focuses on creating virtualized contextual links between archival records, research specimens, and published literature to create a richer picture of the scientific process and the stories beyond the specimen data. 

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