Division of Archives and Records Service

Meet the Local Government Team!

Mahala Ruddell
December 15, 2020

Here at the Utah State Archives, we’ve dedicated much time and effort over the past few years to build up a robust local government team to meet the unique needs of Utah’s municipalities, counties, schools, and special districts. The team is made up of trained records management and archives specialists. 

Alan Barnett is the Local Government Archivist and manager of the team. He has years of experience with the Utah State Archives, having started in 2003. Prior to his service at the Archives, Alan worked for Utah State History and has extensive experience in reference services, preservation, and the care and handling of archival records. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Brigham Young University and a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Utah. 

Heidi Steed started with the Utah State Archives in 2017 as Local Government Records Management Specialist. She enjoys working with courts, counties, and municipalities to help them manage their records and educate them about the many wonderful services available to them through the Archives. Before working with us, Heidi worked for fifteen years at the Salt Lake City Public Library and spent some time as a clerk at the Second District Court in Davis County. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, also from the University of Utah, where she studied Local Government Administration.

Avalon Snell is also a Local Government Records Management Specialist whose focus is primarily local schools and school districts, as well as special service districts. She started at the Utah State Archives in June 2018 and was a volunteer for 2 years prior to employment. She has also worked for Mountain West Digital Library and the University of Utah Marriott Library in various capacities. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Utah and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Avalon enjoys helping her local districts find and preserve their history as well as educating them on the great services the Archives has to offer.

Mahala Ruddell also assists with the team as an Archivist and as Executive Secretary of the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB). Mahala has a Bachelor’s in History from Dominican University of California and a Master’s in History from the University of New Hampshire. After working for a number of years at the UNH special collections and the Park City Museum, she joined the Archives in 2018. She works with Alan, Heidi, and Avalon to properly preserve and manage permanent historical records that have been transferred to the Utah State Archives from local government entities, making sure to catalog and describe the records and provide finding aids and other research tools online for the public to access easily through our reference and research services. With the USHRAB, Mahala also works closely with local governments and cultural heritage institutions throughout the state. The USHRAB has a popular grant program and also offers training and outreach opportunities. 

The Local Government team offers services such as records management and historic preservation consultations; training on GRAMA, retention schedules, records access and more; liaising between local governments and the Records Center; and assistance with the transfer of permanent records to the Utah State Archives repository in Salt Lake City. We love meeting with our patrons face-to-face and are happy to consult with you in person and provide regional, in-person training opportunities. We are available via phone and email to answer any questions you might have on records management, records access, the preservation of permanent historical records, and utilizing any of the services offered by the Utah State Archives.

We look forward to continuing our work in the months and years to come. Give us a shout!

  • Alan Barnett: Local Government Archivist, [email protected], (801) 531-3864
  • Heidi Steed: Local Government Records Management Specialist (courts, counties, municipalities), [email protected], (801) 531-3860
  • Avalon Snell: Local Government Records Management Specialist (schools, special districts), [email protected], (801) 531-3866
  • Mahala Ruddell: Archivist and USHRAB Executive Secretary, [email protected], (801) 531-3845