Four questions for James Stimpert

Image caption: James Stimpert in the Brody Learning CommonsÂ’ Winston Tabb Research Center.

Image credit: Will Kirk / Homewood Photography

1. What's at the top of your to-do list?

Preserving historical documentation for this university, answering questions, and providing information to researchers on a myriad of topics relating to Hopkins. Researchers may be local or regional, or they may be on the other side of the world, but they all want information and answers.

2. What keeps you up at night?

Collecting historical documentation that is increasingly born-digital, and making sure it can be accessed centuries from now. We have books and paper documents that are hundreds of years old that can still be used easily. Will the same be true for 2012 digital information in the 23rd century?

3. What's in store 10 years from now?

Historical resources that are increasingly digital and increasingly accessed via the Web, not in a reading room or any other specific location. The value of this material will increase as our holdings grow larger, better known, and become more accessible, making it even more important that we preserve only materials judged by archival standards to be permanently valuable.

4. Tell me something I don't know about Johns Hopkins.

Until the early 20th century, the undergraduate curriculum required only three years—students entered as freshmen, then progressed to their junior and senior years. And contrary to a popular myth, undergraduates were present when we opened in October 1876.