As collection manager, Ailie Pankonien focuses on internal-facing projects that closely relate to collection care and stewardship, ensuring the longevity and accessibility of TFC holdings.
To improve accessibility to the TFC artifacts, Pankonien leads an ongoing digitization project. This large-scale initiative requires weekly preparation of artifacts for digitization, training and collaborating with students who mount and photograph artifacts, managing media files, and partnering with the UNT Digital Libraries to make images and metadata findable. This initiative has provided impactful professional development for student staff and interns, and it has also garnered the financial support of individual donors and grant funding through the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
To ensure the TFC’s artifacts are handled and documented appropriately, Pankonien meticulously maintains best practices established by museums and archives. She executes regular collection care activities, such as conducting condition reports, preparing objects for loans, creating and administering internal object records, and finding storage solutions for all artifacts. She is committed to ongoing research dedicated to improving the collection's accessibility through methods of organization, description and care.
Pankonien joined the TFC staff in 2022. Her multidisciplinary background informs her varied work at the TFC. Her intellectual engagement with the TFC’s holdings is informed by her art historical training, first through a B.A. in Art History from UNT and later an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Colorado Boulder. Following this education, Pankonien gained hands-on experience at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Colorado University Art Museum, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. Pankonien’s deep knowledge of collections-based practices is shaped by graduate training in library science at UNT; through that program, Pankonien was first introduced to the TFC, completed a graduate practicum and graduate area assistantship at the TFC, and also worked at the UNT Digital Project Lab, part of the UNT Digital Libraries.
To browse the TFC’s holdings on the UNT Digital Library, visit the Explore Collections web page.
To see behind-the-scenes images of TFC collection digitization, visit the UNT Digital Library.