Currently viewing the tag: "Mammalogy Archives"

During our time spent in the Mammalogy archive we came across a large bound collections of newspaper clippings and published bulletins. The newspapers dated from the beginning of the twentieth century to just after World War II and were in pretty good condition barring a few preservation issues. Many of the newspaper clippings were held together by paper clips that have left some marks and indentations. Other clippings were secured to the pages by a mysterious adhesive that amazingly left no residue on the articles. Many articles were held to their page by metal paperclips. The paperclips were not rusted but still threatened the long term health of the clippings. Still, despite the relatively decent condition of the articles, they were yellowing and brittle.

The biggest collection featured the work of Richard Archbold, an American zoologist and philanthropist who undertook multiple expeditions on behalf of the Museum. The collection featured articles detailing his exploits in New Guinea as well as his use of the latest equipment, such as ham radios. Having come across multiple collections, we speculated about their use. A few guesses included publicity to highlight the work of the Museum to procure additional funding, vanity, or simply to chart previous efforts. Either way, the collections should be handled with care so that future researchers can ask and answer the same questions.

Here’s a picture of one of Richard Archbold’s scrapbooks.

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Today was our first day participating in the summer semester internship program. After getting our ID cards, we made our way to the Department of Mammalogy Archive, the home of the Museum’s original library. Throughout the summer, we will be exploring the archive to inventory and record the contents of the collection. Today we worked on phase one of the project. We found some nicely processed collections containing departmental correspondence, administrative files and Richard Archbold files. The photographs from the Archbold expeditions to Arizona, Cape York and New Guinea are stored in black rolling cabinets with pull-out racks with pictures sleeved individually. The Field Notes Collection proved more challenging: what to do with them and how will they be entered: as one record or broken down by expedition? We also found some unprocessed collections: B. Elizatbeth “Betty” Horner papers and the Marie Lawrence papers. Most of the collections we encountered were well organized allowing us to get familiar with the working conditions and the cataloging worksheet. At the end of the day, we had a chance to look around the rest of the archive and brace ourselves for the upcoming challenges.

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