She first worked as a cataloger in the OHS film archives, helping get control over a large, rich, and highly regarded collection of films and video. Mikki and OHS Film Preservationist Michele Kribs were instrumental in creating the Association of Moving Image Archivists, and then hosting an international meeting in Portland for one hundred attendees.
Mikki later joined the staff of the OHS photographs department as Assistant Photographs Librarian. Researchers, staff, and the general public seeking historical photographs would first be greeted by Mikki’s welcoming smile. Her keen perception and knowledge of the collections enabled Mikki to assist users in an efficient and friendly manner. Her work with the photographs of famed Portland Egyptologist Lindsley Foote Hall inspired Mikki to travel to Egypt. After retirement, Mikki continued to contribute by researching and writing the Oregon Historical Quarterly’s OregonScape feature from 2010 to 2016, highlighting interesting and sometimes obscure facts from Oregon’s past.
Outside of OHS, Mikki developed an interest in taking photographs, going on photo outings with OHS Photographer Evan Schneider and OHS Manuscripts Librarian Kris White, and experimenting in the home darkroom the three built. Mikki also had an entrepreneurial side in the form of her successful beading business, Beady Little Mind, resulting in many staff wearing her lovely creations. With her best friend since college, Janet Trygstad, Mikki volunteered at Portland Center Stage and for other theater productions.
Mikki’s greatest devotion, however, was to the Wild Rose Garland dance team, of which she was a founding member. Mikki’s love of traditional English dance was her inspiration for the group, which first performed in 1995. Dressed in historical costumes and holding brightly decorated half hoops, Mikki, Janet, and the team performed a variety of dances, including honoring the centuries-old tradition of heralding the arrival of spring or summer by performing at dawn on May Day.
After her retirement, Mikki ensured that the personal connections forged among OHS staff continued by organizing monthly pub gatherings called Second Fridays. Recalling her kindness, generosity, quick wit, and the twinkle in her eye, we raise a glass to our beloved colleague and friend.
— Sue Seyl, Former Director of Image Collections, Oregon Historical Society