Meet the staff: Amanda Moreno

By Brittney Bomnin, CHC Web Communications Technician

Though April 2013 marks when Amanda Moreno joined the Cuban Heritage Collection as Processing Assistant, she is a familiar face to the UM Libraries. Amanda began her time with the Collection in 2011 as a student assistant on a grant-funded digitization project focused on our theater materials. Her skills working with digital processes made her an ideal candidate to support similar projects, including editing video interviews for the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project; describing clips from the Osvaldo Sánchez Film Collection; and eventually processing collections with CHC Archivist Natalie Baur.

Originally from Queens, New York, Amanda moved to Miami at the age of nine and has been living here ever since. In May 2012, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami, where she majored in political science, Spanish and psychology. While she initially planned to continue onto graduate study in public policy, working in the Cuban Heritage Collection has shown her she can combine her interests in libraries, museums and civic engagement into a rewarding career.

Amanda now plans to begin a dual Master’s program in Library Science and Latin American Studies in Fall 2014, combining her interests in Afro-Cuban religion and culture and public history. “After consulting with Natalie [Baur] and Maria [Estorino], I realized a joint degree would get me where I want to go faster than doing two graduate programs separately.”  Five years from now she hopes to be doing “curatorial and archival work at a museum” or other cultural institution.

Donor Chris Baker and Amanda Moreno work together to identify photos in the Ruston Academy Records.

As Processing Assistant, Amanda forms part of the Archives team responsible for arranging and describing our unique holdings of manuscript collections. In the past year, Amanda’s strong writing skills have gained her a following for “What’s cookin’” a weekly recipe blog series that accompanied the spring 2013 exhibit, “Food and Memory: an exploration of Cuban cooking, 1857-today.” Over the next 10 months, Amanda hopes to become more involved with the CHC blog, as she believes it is a good creative outlet that “breathes life into our history.” For her, the blog helps make our collections more visible and increase access in an engaging way.

Before the grant ends next April, Amanda hopes to process as much material as possible and increase her knowledge base. Today, she has a better understanding of what it takes to work in this field because of her time spent at CHC. “Working here has given me real-world experience that can be translated to grad school and beyond.”

Get to know Amanda:

  • Favorite collection(s): Ramiro A. Fernández and Tom Pohrt Collections. “I love photography and these collectors capture the essence of Cuban life in the 19th and 20th centuries through the still image.”
  • Movies and TV: Amanda is obsessed with 90s disaster movies, (see “Deep Impact,” “Dante’s Peak” and “Volcano,” “the campier the better”).and is watching “The X-Files” in its entirety after finishing the canceled Fox sci-fi series “Fringe.”
  • Travel plans: Amanda enjoys traveling and has a few trips in the works before starting grad school: Italy, Spain and the West Coast of the US.
  • Hobbies: You can find Amanda running (read: walking) around Miami with her dad’s Canon AE-1 in hand. She would love to formally study photography and learn to process her own film.