Archive | Collections

Like Sending a Message in a Bottle : Peering into a Collection at Oregon Historical Society


Oregon Historical Society Research Library, James Anctil Papers (1930 -1997)

Pondering the inner life of a Portland-based artist discovered within the pages of his diary.

Geoffrey Wexler is an archivist and artist friend who made a strong impression on me early in my career.  Geoff created a meticulous foundation for the ongoing development of the Robert Wilson Archives, and, I am sure, unknowingly inspired me to be detail-driven in an artful way.  I have always admired his aesthetic sensibility and how he managed to incorporate an artist’s eye into the structure of Robert Wilson’s collection.  Geoffrey Wexler is Library Director at the Oregon Historical Society. read more

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Conversation with Archivist Celia Hartmann


New-York Historical Society, Sigmund and Margaret Nestor Papers, 1942-1945

Discussing the understated and extraordinary value of hand-delivered correspondence

Celia Hartmann is Project Archivist for a variety of institutions, including collections held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the New-York Historical Society.

COLLECTION:  Guide to the Sigmund and Margaret Nestor Papers, 1942-1945. The collection includes correspondence between Sigmund Nestor, from U.S. Army domestic camps in 1942 and 1945, and from India and China in 1945 and 1946, and his wife Margaret Nestor in the Bronx (1942) and Florida (1945-1946). Included are letters, postcards, and a telegram; enclosures from the letters; and the Nestors’ wedding announcement. read more

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Cubic Footnotes: Documenting The Archivist’s Mental Marginalia

Cubic Footnotes by Janine St. GermainI’ve been working with a variety of archival collections since the mid 1990s and have always valued, admired and thoroughly enjoyed the friendship and curious work of my colleagues in the field of archives management. I am continually intrigued by the stories we share.

I have found that most every archive holds quieter stories that linger at the edges of the collection’s notoriety — stories that are often only recognized and felt by the archivist who had the honor of laying hands on each and every object in the collection. Quite likely, that archivist will be the last person who will ever handle every single item in the expanse of that particular story. There is a palpable sense of literally feeling and hearing a variety of voices when the first “untouched” box is cracked open. read more

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