Department: Libraries 

Areas of expertise:  

  • Special collections (archives, manuscripts, rare books, ephemera) 
  • Digital archives and digital preservation 
  • Oral history  

Birch is an assistant professor and Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections in JMU Libraries. She teaches in partnership with faculty from a wide variety of academic disciplines to support the use of rare and primary source materials in the classroom and encourage digital scholarship methods. 

Birch’s research focuses on participatory archives, post-custodial archives, collections discovery and access, sustainability of digital projects, and the intersection of special collections and digital scholarship. 

Birch earned a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Journalism at the University of Delaware and dual master's degrees in History and Archives Management at Simmons College (now Simmons University).  

Media contact: Eric Gorton,


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