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Franz Kunst

Project Archivist


  • (650) 497-2785

Franz's role in the library

I've recently been brought on through a grant to process five collections with significant educational components, including the papers of artist Ruth Asawa and bilingual educator Amado Padilla, and the records of information clearinghouse EdSource. All will be organized and described in detail, and their finding aids made available online. I'm particularly excited about the Asawa collection; her public sculpture is a highly visible component of San Francisco's landscape (where I live), and her democratic approach to art-making is a real inspiration. The correspondence series alone promises rich rewards, and given her recent passing interest will be high.

Professional activities

I've worked at Stanford for over five years, processing collections for Manuscripts, University Archives and the Archive of Recorded Sound. My background is in media, popular culture, radicalism, local history 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 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.

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.

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 I get real mean if I don't hug a tree at least once a week. 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