Flutist Finds Second Career as Archivist
Christine de Catanzaro was 10 years old when she found the flute — a hobby that would evolve into a regular job playing with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.
“Music just became a part of my life,” said de Catanzaro, who is an access archivist at the Georgia Tech Archives and the music subject librarian at the Library. “I’d always wanted to be a music teacher and a musician, so that’s what I became. After finishing my training in England and Canada, I played with the touring orchestra and taught elementary school music and flute for about five years.”
She also earned a PhD in music history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill), which would lead to her teaching music history at both UNC and Georgia State University (GSU).
“I’ve always been fascinated by history, so when the opportunity to work with the Johnny Mercer archival collections opened up at GSU, I couldn’t resist,” de Catanzaro said. “From that point on, I morphed into an archivist.”
After eight years in her role at GSU, de Catanzaro accepted her current position at Tech and has now been here for slightly more than eight years.
“My current position is the best of both worlds,” she added. “Although 80 percent of my time is spent on my archivist responsibilities, my work as a subject librarian allows me to also focus on music some days.”
Describe an average day in your job.
I work with three other archivists to collect, preserve and make available the historical things that Tech keeps in our Archives. (For more about the Archives, visit www.library.gatech.edu/archives.) We respond to calls and emails from people asking questions to learn more about a relative that might have been enrolled here or asking what Tech was like during World War II. People will also come in to do research on the materials we have. For example, the Archives houses large science fiction and rare science and technology book collections. As a subject librarian, I am the liaison between the Library and the School of Music. I regularly help faculty members request information from the Library and am responsible for purchasing new books and resources for the Library that are related to music.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the old register of students that students had to sign in the early years of Tech. Each entry includes information such as the student’s signature, birth place and date, date of entrance, and, eventually, a withdrawal or graduation date. We have records in this volume for the very first students who attended Tech, as well as for the first students who completed their degrees here. I also enjoy our Georgia Tech Songs collection, which includes songs such as “Ramblin’ Wreck.”
What would you like for people to know about your job?
We don’t just have paper documents. We have a wide array of visual materials, including photos and architectural drawings, wonderful rare books, digital materials and artifacts. And no one should be shy about coming in and requesting to see things.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
I enjoy the oldest part of campus that includes Tech Tower, the French Building and other historic buildings.
If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?
It would probably be Mozart or Bach — they were both such amazing musicians.
Where is your favorite place to have lunch?
Right now, it’s West Egg, and I’ll order the Blue Plate Special. But I am eagerly awaiting the opening of the Highland Bakery that’s going into the old Junior’s spot.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I swam 62 miles over the course of last summer. This year, my goal is to swim 75 miles. But it takes me about an hour to swim a mile, so accomplishing this takes awhile.
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