State Archivist Dr. Melanie Sturgeon retires after two decades of public service

New Director of the Arizona State Archive appointed

For Immediate Release
November 15, 2016


Matt Roberts, Director of Communications 
Phone: (602) 542-2228
[email protected]

Secretary of State Michele Reagan has announced the retirement of Dr. Melanie Sturgeon, Director of the State Archives and designated Dr. Ted Hale the State Archivist.  Dr. Hale has worked alongside Dr. Sturgeon for more than a decade and will carry on a tradition of modernization and greater access to the state’s historic materials.

“Dr. Sturgeon is to be congratulated for more than 20 years of public service and leading our Archival Division from the attic of the State Capitol to the Polly Rosenbaum facility,” said Secretary Reagan. “Melanie’s dedication to preserving Arizona’s heritage is widely admired and she will be sorely missed. I am confident that Dr. Hale will work diligently at continuing the excellent programs we have at the State Archives.”

“I’m eager to carry on the excellent programs we have going on at the State Archives, with bringing particular attention to our digital initiatives,” said Dr. Hale. “I will continue to encourage statewide participation and collaboration with our programs, as well as expanding our outreach. More people need to know what a hidden gem we have in our State Archives and the vast resources of the state’s documentary history we have in our holdings. It will be essential over the coming years to continue to put our holdings in digital, searchable formats for easier access.”

Dr. Hale has been grant writing and fundraising since 1980, mostly for universities and non-profits. He earned a Doctorate in music from Indiana University in 1997, holding development positions with the University of Hartford and Indiana University. He came to the State Library and Archives in 2006 to help identify and secure funding, as well as provide support for the many programs in which the State library is involved with. In 2010 he was made Deputy Director of Operations.

Secretary Reagan also announced the promotion of Dr. Dennis Preisler to the position of Assistant State Archivist. Dr. Preisler will be principally responsible for archival operations at Arizona’s leading archival facility, the Polly Rosenbaum Building.

Dr. Dennis Preisler began working for the State Archives in June 2012 and was promoted to Assistant Director in August 2013. Dr. Preisler earned a PhD in History from ASU in 1998 and serves as President of the Arizona Archives Alliance. He has worked as the Corporate Historian and Archivist for Arizona Public Service Company, the photograph archivist at Arizona State University, and the Corporate Archivist for Phelps Dodge Corporation.