Sally Childs-Helton, Ph.D., is a Professor (Library Faculty), Head of Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives, and the library liaison to the History and Anthropology program. Before coming to Butler in 2000, Sally worked at the Indiana Historical Society Library. She has been teaching at the university level since 1978 (world music and ethnomusicology), and has been a professional archivist since 1984. Sally teaches information literacy and archival literacy skills to students in all six colleges of the university. She has been instrumental in engaging classes in using archival materials as course texts. For example, for the past eight years students in the history and anthropology Close Encounters first year seminar have used primary source materials from the Charters South Seas Collection to examine not only what these sources say about the people who were being visited, but about the visitors, including explorers, missionaries, colonial administrators, and women travelers. Students learn how to correctly handle archival materials, how to find them in repositories and in digitized formats, how to conduct archival research, and the power of using primary source materials.
In her archival role, Sally works regularly with researchers, including Butler students, faculty, and staff; local historians; Indianapolis community members; and national and international academic researchers. She enjoys collaborating with professors and teachers to bring students of all ages into the archives, and with local archives, museums, and other cultural heritage repositories to create cross-institution connections. As part of her teaching and service, Sally has been very active in Social Justice and Diversity (SJD) initiatives and is currently serving on the SJD Committee which approves courses for inclusion in the SJD core curriculum.