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Franz Kunst

Processing Archivist


  • (650) 497-2785

Franz's role in the library

As processing archivist, my main responsibility is essentially the same as when I was a project archivist: organizing and describing unique historical material. In cooperation with cataloging, conservation, accessioning, public service, and many other staff, my work assists scholars and other users with their research. I help coordinate the physical movement and disposition of collections, and publish guides that represent them intellectually. I also codify and document our processing guidelines and workflows.

Professional activities

I've worked at Stanford for over eight years, processing collections for Manuscripts, University Archives and the Archive of Recorded Sound. My background is in media, 20th century history, popular culture, radicalism, art, and especially music. A long time ago I catalogued sound recordings and scores, and I still have more than a little bit of cataloger in me. The preservation of audiovisual materials is an ongoing concern, and I also try to keep up with trends in contemporary librarianship including copyright, crowdsourcing and linked data. I'm editor of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) newsletter, of which I've been a member since 2000. I was also very proud to be an advisory panelist for the Performing Arts section of the NEH Preservation & Access Grant Program in December 2012, and I've assisted with various Stanford grants since then.

Selected publications

My history of the San Francisco Public Library's Mission Branch is deposited in their reference files. I also presented a paper on the Project South Collection at Stanford at the ARSC Conference in Los Angeles in May 2012 (available here:

More about Franz

When I’m not at work I’m usually eating, playing records, or riding my bicycle. I'm addicted to Northern Californian nature, and hike and camp frequently. I also collect photographs, magazines and ephemera and try to share as much of it as possible.


MLS from San Jose State with an Archives concentration
BA in American Studies/Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill