Charles Nodler, professor and archivist for MSSU’s Spiva Library, has been approved for Emeritus status by the Academy of Certified Archivists based in Albany, N.Y.
Nodler, who recently began phased retirement, began working at Missouri Southern in 1978 after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Southern. He earned a master’s degree in history and a certificate in Archival Administration from the University of Texas-Arlington, as well as a master of library science degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
“I’ve always liked history and it seemed, going through school, to be one of my best subjects,” he says. “The fact that I have enjoyed my occupation has made a big difference in the way I have felt about my work.”
Nodler says although some items in archives don’t see the light of day, others remain particularly relevant. “The mining maps, which go back to the 1800s, are most heavily used,” he states. “They show the locations of the lead and zinc mines. They are used every week by people in the community. If there is any new construction or road-building, the people in charge of the construction need to know the location of those mines.”
Nodler says MSSU’s archives include a number of Presidential letters in the collection from former Congressman Gene Taylor. The Bailey collection from Carthage includes two hand-signed letters from Harry Truman when he was presiding judge of Jackson County.
Nodler says the move away from paper records and the emergence of new technologies in recent decades have created new challenges for archivists.
“There is a new field called digital history because digital formats are constantly changing,” he explains. “You have to continually adapt to stay up to date.” Nodler is a member of the Board of Directors of the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond and the Gene Taylor Museum Board in Sarcoxie. He set up the archives at the Carver Monument and served as a consultant for the creation of the archives of Newton County.