My Psychic Dollhouse: Period Rooms at the Brooklyn Museum

I thought I was just visiting colleague/archivist Deborah Wythe to discuss my on-going work on the Nancy Holt Archives, but then I stumbled into a familiar rabbit hole….

self portrait brooklyn museum

There is something indistinguishable about that very silent corner of the Brooklyn Museum, where with a single turn, one is set adrift into the darkened hallways surrounding the museum’s Decorative Arts/Period Rooms. It may take a year or two, but undoubtedly, no matter what show I come back to see, the siren’s song of those quarters lures me back into the surrounding passageways in that corner of the museum — and again, I am yanked away from time. read more

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“Remembering The Backstory” – Independent School Magazine

NAIS Independent School Remembering the Backstory

I had the great good fortune of (re)connecting with a number of independent school archivists over these past few months. It all started with a flurry of emails over the summer as I prepared an article for the NAIS Independent School magazine’s 75th Anniversary. And a big clink and happy anniversary to the NAIS Magazine.

There are so many extraordinary hidden stories, astonishing images and curious traditions documented in school archives.  It was great fun catching up with a few colleagues and collecting a few stories for this article.

Just last week, a group of us, representing a number of NYC-based independent school archives, met in the hallowed halls of Collegiate School on the Upper West Side. We spoke at length, sharing insights, thoughts on current projects and hopes for the future regarding our collections.  As the article states, “Our stories matter… they remind us we are part of a great and important continuum.” read more

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It’s a Snow Day So Why Not Take A Luxurious Float Deep into NYPL’s Digital Rabbit Hole


I’m snowed in and pondering the blustery vista seen from my window here in the Hudson Valley. It’s a muffled-silent day. I’m somewhat stranded by this impressive weather pattern, yet here I sit, traveling great distances within the expanse of the NYPL Digital Collections.   I return to these collections as a bustling hub of creative space, where I truly love to roam — and cobble together digital assemblages based on the theme of (my) day.

The image above is the result of a photoshop conversation I had a while back with my pal and graphic designer extraordinaire, Tom Smith.  He and I have had a number of purely image-based conversations, unfolding from the passing back and forth of archival images we have both hoarded from a variety of collections. read more

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Tom Smith: Graphic Designer with a Vintage Eye


Tom Smith is a graphic designer whose work I have long admired. His work has a strong and recognizable vintage aesthetic. For me, he consistently hits the bull’s eye with lettering and imagery. On the flip side of his vintage-inspired designs, Tom also works within a super pared down clean edge style as well, which makes strolling through his personal artwork enticing at every turn.

I love comparing notes with Tom about my work as an archivist, the resources he uses as a designer, and vintage-inspired images we are carrying on our iPhones on any given day. read more

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Deb Wythe: The Analog and Digital Life of the Brooklyn Museum Archives


A CONVERSATION with the Brooklyn Museum’s Manager of Digital Collections & Services, Deb Wythe: The Analog and Digital Life of the Brooklyn Museum Archives

Deb Wythe is a friend and colleague whose friendship I have valued for many years. When I first took the leap into becoming an archivist in Prospect Park a long while ago, Deb was one of the first professionals in the field who provided guidance and enthusiasm right from the start. Brooklyn Museum is one the Park’s cultural neighbors, and I was so grateful to have found an archivist friend so close by. read more

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Like A Note Being Passed To Me Through Time: Doodles at The National Archives at New York City


CHATTING WITH ARCHIVIST BONNIE SAUER about the stupendous doodles she found embellishing U.S. District Court Law Dockets, circa 1920s and 1930s

Bonnie Marie Sauer is currently the Records Management Officer at the U.S Mission to the UN.  She was an Archivist for more than seven years at the National Archives at New York City. Prior to that, she worked at the Winthrop Group where she processed the Peter W. Rodino, Jr. papers.

COLLECTION: Law Dockets created by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York read more

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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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