The University of Wyoming will begin searching for a new director of the American Heritage Center after the current director unexpectedly resigned.

UW says current director Bridget Burke submitted her resignation, effective Dec. 8, to take a position as an associate dean for special collections with the University of Oklahoma Libraries.

The search for a new director will start after a small team of expert archivists will advise UW on how archives like the AHC should be managed. The consultants will submit a report after interviewing stakeholders about the AHC and its importance to the university and Wyoming as a whole.

The AHC is UW’s repository of important information and artifacts focusing on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West as well as national topics such as environment and conservation, the mining and petroleum industries, air and rail transportation and the performing arts. It houses manuscript collections, rare books and UW archives. It is one of the largest nongovernmental archives in the country

In the meantime, the university has appointed UW Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz to serve as the interim director of the AHC. UW says Gaetz’s past experiences will make him an asset. Gaetz previously served as the library director at Colorado College for four years before coming to UW in 2016. He also served as the dean of the library at Regis University in Denver from 2001-2012 and library director at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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