Riain is looking off from the camera in a tan blazer. He is standing in front of a Rodin sculpture on the Stanford University campus. Colorful shapes surround the photo on a teal background

Meet Your Lane Library Staff: Riain Ross-Hager

Every month, we are spotlighting an amazing member of our library staff. This month meet Riain Ross-Hager, Processing Archivist for the Medical History Center.

What do you do at the library?

I work with the history curator Drew Bourn at the Medical History Center, Lane library’s archives and rare book repository. As a processing archivist, I arrange and describe archival collections. I work on making our collections discoverable and accessible to researchers. 

What did you do before coming to Lane Library?

I worked as a processing archivist at San Diego State University Special Collections and University Archives. Last summer, I was awarded a fellowship to the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies where I had the extraordinary opportunity to process part of the Count Basie family papers and artifacts collection.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

I am excited to work with archives and materials related to the history of medicine and the interconnections between medical history and social history. I have a humanities background with degrees in both linguistics and English literature and the archival work I will be doing here at the Medical History Center is an opportunity for me to connect my research interests with the related interdisciplinary field of the medical humanities.

How long have you worked at Lane?

I started in mid-June of 2023. 

What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy learning about the history of cities and towns on foot. I aim to treat even a weekend exploration as a kind of serendipitous pilgrimage; sometimes with a map, sometimes with a guide, and often without– I’m inspired by the archetypal peripatetic and flâneur, and movements like psychogeography. 

Do you prefer . . .

Coffee or tea? Both! I love pour-over specialty coffee and drinking pu-erh and oolong teas using gong fu-style tea vessels

Cats or dogs? I am a hopeless ailurophile, but I am fond of both dogs and cats. 

Candy or cake? Forever cake. Forever madeleines.

Salty or sweet? Both essential for gustatory harmony.

Print or digital books? Print books activate all the senses! But digital books are a convenience I fully appreciate.     

Nonfiction or fiction? Poetry, fiction, nonfiction–  all genres galore!

Summer or winter? All seasons inspire– while fond of languorous humid summers, I look forward most to every year’s fall. 

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