Laura Schmidt has served as the Wade Center's Archivist since 2005. She first encountered the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien in her childhood and her love and appreciation for those authors and their affiliates has continued to grow with each passing year. She began exploring the Marion E. Wade Center while visiting her older sister at Wheaton College, and the Wade became an integral part of her decision to attend Wheaton herself for her undergraduate studies. Laura graduated with a B.A. double major in English literature and history from Wheaton College in 2003, and a master’s degree in the Science of Information with a specialization in Archives and Records Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Information in 2005.
Laura returned to the Marion E. Wade Center in May 2005 upon completing her master’s degree, and she has been happily employed ever since in what is truly her dream job. She has enjoyed working with scholars and visitors from all over the world at the Wade Center, and it is a tremendous blessing for her to aid in the promotion and preservation of the seven Wade authors’ works and respective legacies.
She also volunteers as the historian of the Carol Stream Historical Society, as a church librarian, and as the staff adviser for the Wheaton College Tolkien Society and WhInklings writing group at Wheaton College. She is the author of Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research (Society of American Archivists, 2011), and has spoken extensively on the Wade Center and its seven authors over the years.
Besides her interests in the Wade authors, Laura enjoys traveling, watching movies and anime, getting out in nature, music, tea, visiting libraries and museums, and discussing the impact of fantasy and fiction literature.