Former state librarian inducted into Archives and Records hall of fame

Joan Kerschner-Tinker can't race an Indy car, and she can't smoke the defense at the three-point line.

But she was inducted into the hall of fame.

Kerschner-Tinker, 59, can organize and preserve government records. The former Carson City woman will be inducted today into the Nevada State Archives and Records Heritage Hall of Fame.

"I think the State Archives is one of the most important functions in government," she said Tuesday while visiting family in Indiana. "It's the record of what we've done in the past. So, to be honored by such an important function is special."

But she'll miss her Heritage Hall induction today at 2 p.m. in the Koontz-Cahlan Research Room, 100 N. Stewart St. Family comes before prestige: Kerschner-Tinker said she'd planned this trip in advance.

Retired since 1999, Kerschner-Tinker lives in Henderson, where she works on various special projects, such as visiting her grandson and helping to complete an oral history for the Henderson Library, in between jetting around the world for getaways in places such as Australia and New Zealand.

At the top of her game, Kerschner-Tinker became Nevada's first director of the department of cultural affairs in 1993. Her earlier efforts helped bring the State Records Management Program into the department in 1983. Nevada became the first state to have a statutorily created State Historical Record Advisory Board. She started working for the state in 1973.

"It was my life for many years because I felt that the preservation of information and retrieving it was important. It belongs to the people of the state and the people should have access to it."

When steering and planning the design of the new state library and archives building, completed in late 1992, Kerschner-Tinker pushed for the inclusion of a conservation lab for papers and books, according to the department of cultural affairs.

She said the archives have come a long way, from a lot of boxes in a building to an important government resource.

The late R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram, former archives and records administrator for the city of Henderson, will also be inducted into the Heritage Hall of fame. He wrote the first histories of agencies such as the Nevada State Children's Home and Department of Human Resources. In 1999, he became the first electronic records archivist and later the first archives and records administrator for the city of Henderson, according to the department of cultural affairs. He also wrote guidelines for the Nevada State Library and Archives' digital-imaging projects.

Armstrong-Ingram's contribution to Nevada will be commemorated by one of a series of tartan stones that will be given to the Nevada State Archives following the Heritage Hall of Fame ceremony. The five stones collected from Southern Nevada and the Carson City area feature pictures of Nevada's officials symbols, carved by Frank Maurer. The symbols are rice grass, the desert tortoise, sagebrush, the mountain bluebird, bighorn sheep and a single-leaf piƱon.

Assistant Administrator for Archives and Records Guy Rocha said every two years since 1997 the program honors its champions by adding their pictures to the Heritage Hall of Fame.

"These are people who have taken steps to help preserve Nevada's documentary heritage by going above and beyond ordinary measures," he said.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.

If you go

What: Nevada State Archives and Records Heritage Hall of Fame ceremony

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Koontz-Cahlan Research Room, Nevada State Library and Archives, 100 N. Stewart St.


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