Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flags Lowered at Idaho State University

Flags at Idaho State University have been lowered to half-staff today to honor Karen E. Kearns, Head of Special Collections and University Archives at Idaho State University’s Eli M. Oboler Library. Kearns passed away March 21, 2012 in Pocatello, Idaho.

The following announcement was sent out to the faculty at Idaho State University on behalf of University President Arthur C. Vailas:
ANNOUNCEMENT from President Arthur C. Vailas:

In memory of Ms. Karen Kearns, Associate Professor and Director of Special Collections at the Eli M. Oboler Library and University Archivist, the Idaho State University Flag will be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, the day of her memorial.

We offer our condolences to her family and friends.
Karen was a graduate of Idaho State University (B.A., 1987) and the University of Kentucky (M.L.S., 1990). Prior to completing her degree at Kentucky, Karen went to work for the Huntington Research Library in San Marino, California, where she became the Curator for Western and Women’s History Manuscripts. In 1997, Karen joined the staff at ISU’s Eli M. Oboler Library and in 2001 she became the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

While Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Karen cataloged significant collections, including the Nellie Cline Steenson, George Shoup and Edward Stevenson collections. She spearheaded the creation of the Bannock County Images, Edward Stevenson Collection and Birch Creek Massacre digital projects. Her tenure in the department also included overseeing the processing of the largest manuscript collection housed at ISU, the Richard H. Stallings Congressional Collection.

In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Karen served on the Idaho State University Faculty Senate, the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Pocatello, and as a board member for the Idaho Center for the Book. She also held leadership positions with the Conference of Intermountain Archivists and the Friends of Oboler Library. Her service to Idaho State University was matched by her service to her community.

Karen is survived by her parents, Rick and Linda Kearns, brothers Greg and Chris Kearns, and her daughter, Emma Kearns.

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