After graduating with a degree in history, and working as a reference librarian and a children's librarian, Carolyn Sautter saw a job listing to work in a small historic town cataloging historical materials. Her choice to apply to an opening at Gettysburg College 17 years ago led her to her current position, now her dream job, as the Director of Special Collections and College Archives at Mussleman Library.
“In my position, I get to discuss history with people who really care about it and also care about trying to make the world a better place with this knowledge. Our approach to the future is really informed by how we discuss the past. I get to have conversations every day about history based on the time that the documents we look at are in and the current day. We get to bridge the time difference.”
While digitizing sources, leading class sessions, collecting the history of the College, and more, Carolyn finds herself most appreciating her colleagues and the students she gets to work with. “I learn something new every day and there is always someone nearby I can share it with. Everyone has such varied and interesting experiences and I love that I can laugh, learn, and puzzle through challenging things together. I never feel alone.”
Ultimately, she hopes that students can recognize their power to make an impact at Gettysburg in a way that will one day too will be remembered. “Look around and realize that this is a great place to learn. Take advantage of every opportunity because you have a great support network here. This is your time and what you create right now will become the history of the College. Make the most of it because we are eager to hear your story, a story which I will one day collect.”
By Cameron Jury ’23