5 Questions: Peggy Tran-Le
This summer, we’re taking our Five Questions series around the office and finding out more about SFMOMA staff members and what’s changed for them now that we’re under construction. Today we’re talking to Peggy Tran-Le, Archivist/Records Manager.
Please describe your job in three sentences or less:
I have two separate jobs as archivist and records manager. As archivist, I am responsible for preserving the institutional records for the museum and making them available to researchers. As records manager, I am responsible for managing the life cycle of records created within the museum across departments (a record is any document that chronicles museum activity).
What are you thinking about now that you weren’t thinking about before the museum closed?
During the expansion period, the archives are not open to the research public, so I have time to take care of the backlog of unprocessed records. It’s going to be a very productive two and a half years.
If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I don’t want to meet any of my idols, living or dead, as I wouldn’t want to be disappointed.
Well, I wouldn’t mind meeting Henry Hopkins, SFMOMA’s director from 1974 to 1986. I am currently processing his papers, and not only does he seem like a very interesting and lovely person but I also have a lot of questions for him about his papers.
If you weren’t Archivist/Records Manager what would your gig be?
It’s not that different from what I am doing now, or at least it has components of what I am doing now, but I would love to be a documentary filmmaker. There is so much research involved and it would be nice to have a visual product, it seems like a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite tool? Why?
I love the micro spatula. We use it to remove staples and other rusted metal fasteners, but I also like it as a letter opener, or to stir my coffee.
What should I ask you?
I am pretty good, for a layperson, when it comes to wine recommendations and wine pairings. I suggest a glass of Corsican rosé on a sunny day like today.
I was in the archives at the New York Public Library recently and the librarians all looked very depressed when they spoke of their backlog and all the amazing things that are sitting in boxes or or on shelves.
If only all archives could close to the public for 2 1/2 years and work on their backlog! What a great asset the MOMA has in Peggy Tran-Le. Inquiring minds want to know if the said microspatulas are rinsed between staple and coffee cup.