Penny Cliff has been the director, archivist, and records manager of the Thomaston-Upson Archives since August 1999. Originally from England, she now considers Thomaston her home. She credits her mother for her love of history.
It was her mother who took her and her sister as very young children exploring old English cemeteries and traversing the narrow staircases of ancient British castles to see the dungeon and hear tales of long ago. She has a bachelorís degree in history and a minor in communication from Mercer University, and a Master of Arts in history with a concentration in archives from Georgia College and State University.
Professionally, she serves on the board of the Georgia Records Association as the vice-president and helps as assistant editor of the Society of Georgia Archivists newsletter. She has been involved in various SGA committees including the Georgia Archives Week Committee.
Locally, she has been involved in a variety of boards and committees and is currently an officer on the Upson Historical Society Board, a member of the Thomaston-Upson Archives Records Advisory Board, a trustee and secretary for the Hightower Memorial Library Board, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, and on the Greatest Generation Memorial Park planning committee. She feels that involvement in the community is an important part of her job.
Penny has been involved in producing several publications including articles on Thomaston and Upson County for Georgiaís Virtual Digital Library; editor of the Upson Historical Society Newsletter and as a peer reviewer.
During her tenure as director, the Thomaston-Upson Archives has received two grants, earned the 2003 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board Award for Excellence in Archival Program Development; two volunteers won GHRAB awards in separate categories in 2004; and the Archives has received a first place exhibit award from the Georgia Historical Society.
Personally, she has been awarded the Upson County Employee of the Year Award, the WORKTEC Distinguished Employer Award (in assisting individuals with disabilities); and the Georgia Records Association Individual Achievement Award for Records Management in the State of Georgia.
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