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Today is our last day in the Paleontology archives. We started the morning with another tour with Bob Evander, checking out hidden collections among the specimens. We also came across this awesome giant sloth!

We’ve finished wrapping up all the loose ends for Phase 1 and 2 and have labeled all the collections. At some point, the hidden collections will have to be included but we took pictures of all the locations so that can be finished at a later point. Also the new collections that we created will need to be added to the finding aid. VPA collection numbers also need to be integrated into the existing finding aid. During our risk assessment, we did a basic overview of the map collection, but it’s clear that additional work on this collection would be helpful to the department, there are about 3,000 maps. The intention is for it the maps to be an ongoing project. We also have one collection of totally unprocessed material which we did a basic catalog record for, eventually it will hopefully be processed.

We really enjoyed our summer here at the museum and feel that we have learned a lot about how an archives works, creating new collections, and conducting risk assessment.

Today we did phase 2 of the Osborn Collection and came across this great book that was made to celebrate his thirty years in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology. The art and text were all original and still looked amazing even though the book is almost 100 years old.

These are some of the great interior drawings. They seem to had a lot of fun coming up with interesting ideas!







We also came across a box of illustration blocks in the Osborn Collection which included engravings of various specimens. The blocks were made out of metal plates attached to wooden blocks. Another highlight was a copper engraving of Osborn that was among his papers. The engraving was created by Elliot and Fey.

16 collections in 2.5 hours

Today we began the risk assessment portion of our project. One of the collections had a very curious summary: Various Collections by Various Creators for Various Purposes. Because it was stored in oversized boxes, we had not opened them on our first pass so the contents were still a mystery. When we finally did open them up, what we found was like Christmas! Because it was Christmas (!): cards, drawings, invitations, placeholders, and original artwork created for museum Christmas parties.

This mounted display contains a drawing of Henry Fairfield Osborn by “Bunny” in front of the museum leading his pet dinosaurs. To the right of the drawing is a Christmas card by Charles Knight for Osborn. At the lower right is a random picture of a caveman and a woolly mammoth. Obviously the department had a sense of humor.

Also included in the box were other original artworks by Charles Knight including this great New Year’s painting and a “Welcome to the Third Mongolian Expedition” sign.

(10 collections-2 hours)

Today we inventoried collections of personal papers of important AMNH paleontologists. The collections contain a variety of materials ranging from personal ephemera and realia to field notes, sketches, and photographs.

Barnum Brown’s personal papers contained Christmas cards featuring a photograph of him and his wife. Also included were his first necktie and his college yearbook from the University of Kansas.

Besides personal items, these collections contain many photographs and negatives of expeditions and finds including this x-ray of a dinosaur egg!

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Today was our first day in Paleontology, looking in the archives, and finding our way around. A lot of the collection seems pretty well organized with a great finding aid and collection notes. We did come across some gems while we were poking around. There was a fascinating photo album with pictures of the paleontology department setting up exhibitions and mounting specimens. We also discovered a scrapbook of a Central Asiatic expedition from the 1920s with lots of photos, ticket stubs, menus, and other memorabilia. It was also nice to see pictures of all the big names in Paleontology-Osborn, Matthew, Granger, and more!


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