Smithsonian Institution Archives

Last updated
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Smithsonian logo color.svg
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Location600 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC
Coordinates 38°53′10″N77°01′17″W / 38.886089°N 77.021413°W / 38.886089; -77.021413
Type Archives
Public transit access L'Enfant Plaza (Washington Metro)
Website www.siarchives.si.edu

The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) is the archives of the Smithsonian Institution. SIA is located in Washington, D.C., United States, and maintains the archives related to the history of the 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, 9 research facilities, and the people of the Smithsonian.

Contents

Collections

SIA's collections consist of archival material related to art, history, science and the humanities. This includes document, image, audio-visual, electronic, oral history and videohistory collections about expeditions, biographies, and general history about the Smithsonian Institution. [1]

History

In 1891, William Jones Rhees, Chief Clerk of the Smithsonian Institution, became Keeper of the Archives. He served until 1907. Current records and historical files were maintained by Office of the Secretary's administrative staff through the middle of the 20th century. John F. Jameson III became Archivist in 1958. His successor, John DeGurse, Jr., served from 1960 to 1964.

Beginning in 1965, Smithsonian Archivist Samuel T. Suratt was charged with "development of the Archives as a facility for historical research in American Science by making the Archives' resources more readily accessible to historians through better identification, preservation, and cataloging of Smithsonian documents." [2] The Archives were physically relocated to the Smithsonian Castle, and received separate line-item funding.

Nathan Reingold, the editor of the Joseph Henry Papers Project, served as Acting Archivist from 1969 to 1970. In January 1970, Richard H. Lytle began a tenure as Archivist which included the 1973 establishment of an oral history program, and the 1976 relocation of the Archives to the Arts and Industries Building. Most of the Smithsonian museums increased acquisitions and conducted surveys during this period; new guides were issued 1971 and 1978. In 1981, William A. Deiss became Acting Archivist, upon Lytle's departure to head up the Smithsonian's computer services. 1983 saw yet another new guide to the expanding repositories, and the appointment of William W. Moss as Director.

By fiscal year 1988, the stacks in the Arts and Industry Building had filled up, and about 5,000 cubic feet of records were sent to leased warehouses at Fullerton Industrial Park, South Springfield, VA. New developments included the Smithsonian Archives and Special Collections Council, The Smithsonian Videohistory Program, which collected interviews focused on American science starting in 1987, and an "exhaustive survey" of the photographs housed in Smithsonian facilities.

Moss continued as director of the reorganized Office of Smithsonian Institution Archives in 1993, which contained an Archives Division, an Institutional History Division, and a National Collections Program. Pamela M. Henson succeeded Moss as Acting Director in 1993, followed by John F. Jameson Fr. in 1994. In 1994, Edie Hedlin became Director. She served until 2005, presiding over the transition to electronic information and the creation of the first websites. The "fourth (and last) printed Guide to the Smithsonian Archives ... described over 1,100 record units comprising some 15,500 cubic feet of archival material," and appeared in 1996. [2] Many archival records were moved to a storage facility, Iron Mountain, in 1997. Acting Director Thomas Soapes served from 2005 to 2007, followed by the present (as of 2012) Director, Anne Van Camp.

The Archives division consisted of three divisions: a Records Management (RM) Team, the Arrangement and Description Team which created "finding aids, bibliographic records, and agency histories." and the Reference Team responding to visits and remote queries from researchers. The Records Management Team took over the work of the Arrangement and Description Team in 2007.

The Preservation Team, responsible for long-term preservation of Smithsonian Archives materials, consultation, and outreach, is part of the larger Technical Services Division. It offers services on a fee basis to other archives and repositories, including offsite storage at the Boyers, PA facility. The Smithsonian Center for Archives Conservation was created with initial funding of $100,000, provided by Eleanor McMillan, which supported the salary of a paper conservator.

The Institutional History Division has authored an online history of the Smithsonian, and provides web access to over 3,000 digital images. The 12-volume Joseph Henry Papers Project, a history of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was published in 2007.

The Electronic Records Division has held digital records since the mid-1990s, and works with "risk management, preservation and conservation" of data in current and obsolete formats, including archiving of the Smithsonian websites. It has also conducted joint research on e-mail record preservation with the Rockefeller Archive Center.

The Smithsonian Institution Archives moved into the Capital Gallery Building in August 2006, and has "a state-of-the-art storage facility; a reading room; several special viewing/listening rooms; processing and preservation space; digital imaging and audiovisual processing facilities; an oral history interview studio; and a conservation lab." [2]

In March 2012, the Smithsonian Institution Archives became the second Smithsonian unit to become directly involved in Wikipedia through the Wikipedia GLAM-wiki initiative., [3] including appointing the Archives' first Wikipedian in Residence, Sarah Stierch. [4]

Related Research Articles

Library and Archives Canada National library and archive of Canada

Library and Archives Canada is a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving and making Canada's documentary heritage accessible. It is the fourth-largest library in the world. LAC reports to Parliament through Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Canadian Heritage since November 20, 2019.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Design museum in Manhattan, New York

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in the Upper East Side's Museum Mile in Manhattan, New York City. It is one of 19 museums that fall under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution and is one of three Smithsonian facilities located in New York City, the other two being the George Gustav Heye Center in Bowling Green and the Archives of American Art New York Research Center in the Flatiron District. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity.

Smithsonian American Art Museum Art museum, Design/Textile Museum, Heritage Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a museum in Washington, D.C., part of the Smithsonian Institution. Together with its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, SAAM holds one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists represented in the collection. Most exhibitions take place in the museum's main building, the old Patent Office Building, while craft-focused exhibitions are shown in the Renwick Gallery.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to library science:

Preservation (library and archival science) set of activities aimed at prolonging the life of a record or object

In library and archival science, preservation is a set of activities aimed at prolonging the life of a record, book, or object while making as few changes as possible. Preservation activities vary widely and may include monitoring the condition of items, maintaining the temperature and humidity in collection storage areas, writing a plan in case of emergencies, digitizing items, writing relevant metadata, and increasing accessibility. Preservation, in this definition, is practiced in a library or an archive by a librarian, archivist, or other professional when they perceive a record is in need of care.

The Churchill Archives Centre (CAC) is one of the largest repositories in the United Kingdom for the preservation and study of modern personal papers. It is best known for housing the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, the private papers of Baroness Thatcher, and a wide range of political, diplomatic, military and scientific collections, including such well-known modern personalities as: Ernest Bevin, Enoch Powell, Lord Kinnock, Sir John Colville, Lord Hankey, Admiral Lord Fisher, Field Marshal Lord Slim, Sir John Cockcroft, Sir James Chadwick, Professor Lise Meitner, Dr Rosalind Franklin and Sir Frank Whittle.

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, is the U.S. Army's primary historical research facility. Formed in 1999 and reorganized in 2013, the center consists of the Military History Institute (MHI), the Army Heritage Museum (AHM), the Historical Services Division (HSD), Visitor and Education Services (VES), the U.S. Army War College Library, and Collections Management (CM). The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is part of the United States Army War College, but has its own 56-acre (230,000 m2) campus.

Oral history preservation is the field that deals with the care and upkeep of oral history materials, whatever format they may be in. Oral history is a method of historical documentation, using interviews with living survivors of the time being investigated. Oral history often touches on topics scarcely touched on by written documents, and by doing so, fills in the gaps of records that make up early historical documents.

David Ferriero American archivist

David Sean Ferriero is a librarian, library administrator, and the 10th Archivist of the United States. He was Director of the New York Public Library, and before that, the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. Prior to his Duke position, he worked for 31 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology library. Ferriero is the first librarian to serve as Archivist of the United States.

Public Record Office Victoria academic publisher

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the government archives of the Australian State of Victoria. PROV was created by the Victorian Public Records Act 1973 with responsibility for the better preservation management and utilization of the public records of the State. It is an agency of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The Queensland State Archives is the lead agency for public recordkeeping in Queensland, Australia. It is the custodian of the largest and most significant documentary heritage collection about Queensland.

Smithsonian Libraries system of libraries at the Smithsonian Institution, United States

Smithsonian Libraries (SIL), formerly known as Smithsonian Institution Libraries, is a library system comprising 20 branch libraries serving the various Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers, as well as central support services which include a Book Conservation Laboratory and an Imaging Center. The Libraries serve Smithsonian Institution staff as well as the scholarly community and general public with information and reference support. Its collections number over 1.5 million volumes including 40,000 rare books and 2,000 manuscripts. The Libraries also holds the United States' largest trade literature collection, which includes over 300,000 commercial catalogs dating from the early nineteenth century and representing more than 30,000 companies.

Archives of American Art collection of primary resources documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States

The Archives of American Art is the largest collection of primary resources documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States. More than 20 million items of original material are housed in the Archives' research centers in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

William W. Moss III (1935-2007) was an American archivist and Chinese language specialist.

Smithsonian Gardens division of the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Gardens, a division of the Smithsonian Institution, is responsible for the "landscapes, interiorscapes, and horticulture-related collections and exhibits", which serve as an outdoor extension of the Smithsonian's museums and learning spaces in Washington, D.C. Established in 1972 as a groundskeeping and horticulture program, Smithsonian Gardens currently manages 180 acres of gardens on the National Mall, 64,000 square feet of greenhouse production space, and the Archives of American Gardens, a research collection of over 60,000 photographs and archival records covering American landscape history from the 1870s to the present.

Wikipedian in residence Professional role in Wikipedia development

A Wikipedian in residence or Wikimedian in residence (WiR) is a Wikipedia editor, a Wikipedian, who accepts a placement with an institution, typically an art gallery, library, archive, or museum, learned society, or institute of higher education to facilitate Wikipedia entries related to that institution's mission, encourage and assist it to release material under open licences, and to develop the relationship between the host institution and the Wikimedia community. A Wikipedian in residence generally helps to coordinate Wikipedia-related outreach events between the GLAM and the general public such as editathons.

Collection manager person who ensures the proper care and preservation of objects within cultural institutions

A collection manager ensures the proper care and preservation of objects within cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, and archives. Collection managers, along with registrars, curators, and conservators, play an important role in collections care. Collection Managers and Registrars are two distinct collection roles that are often combined into one within small to mid-size cultural institutions. Collection Managers can be found in large museums and those with a history and natural history focus whose diverse collections require experienced assessment to properly sort, catalog, and store artifacts. A collection manager may oversee the registrar, archivist, curator, photographer, or other collection professionals, and may assume the responsibilities of these roles in their absence within an organization.

Conservation and restoration at the Smithsonian Institution deals with the care of the 138 million artifacts located in the collections of Smithsonian Institution. Work is conducted by one research center, the Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), and by conservators at the Smithsonian's museums, galleries, zoo. Smithsonian conservators provide myriad services to their units, including exhibit preparation of the museum collection and loan objects, advising on object care, training for future generations of conservationists, engaging in routine preventive care on a daily basis, conducting research projects related to the collections, and examining objects for evidence of manufacturing techniques and previous restorations All conservation labs collectively further the mission of the Smithsonian Institution, "the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Founded in 1846 the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Claudia Brush Kidwell is a costume historian and former curator at the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of American History in the Division of Social History, primarily in the Costume Collection. She served as the first and only female Acting Director at the Museum of History and Technology in 1979.

Archives of Appalachia

The Archives of Appalachia is located on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Archives of Appalachia is a repository for memories — the written words, images, and sounds that document life in southern Appalachia. the archives steward nearly two miles of rare manuscripts, 250,000 photographs, 90,000 audio and moving image recordings, and 14,000 books. More than 2,000 visitors from ETSU and around the globe utilize the collections each year for scholarly and creative projects. The Reading Room is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

References

  1. Archie R. Crouch (1989). Christianity in China: A Scholars's Guide to Resources in the Libraries and Archives of the United States. M.E. Sharpe. p. 78. ISBN   978-0-87332-419-9 . Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Cox, William E. (Jan 11, 2008). "A Brief History of the Smithsonian Institution Archives".Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. "Smithsonian Institution Archives Hosts Wikipedian in Residence and Outreach Events with Wikipedia Volunteers" (PDF). Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  4. "Meet Sarah Stierch: The Archives' Wikipedian in Residence". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved January 20, 2013.