The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Category: Collections in Focus
In my work as a conservator at the Archives, I am frequently asked to review materials before they are served to researchers or before they are digitized. As a result, I often have occasion to peruse an entire collection, and in the process discover some real gems in our holdings. Last year, for example, some beautiful Chinese stationery from the Remington Kellogg papers came across my bench. This year I spotted an assortment of holiday greeting cards in Isaac Ginsburg’s papers.
Ginsburg was an ichthyologist who studied at Cornell and worked briefly at the United States National Museum in the Division of Fishes before moving to the Bureau of Fisheries. His main interest lay with the saltwater fish species of the Gulf of Mexico.
These holiday cards, mingled with professional correspondence, paint a personal picture of the relationship Ginsburg enjoyed with colleagues. Some are simple and lovely greetings; others, like the colorful image of boats on the Italian Riviera, are other pieces of stationery repurposed for the season (the card is actually a dinner menu from a Mediterranean cruise).
As 2016 comes to a close and the holidays approach, we at the Archives wish you all the best in the coming year. Happy Holidays from all of us!
Record Unit 7187, Isaac Ginsburg Papers, circa 1911-1919, 1924-1958, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Ginsburg, Isaac, 1886-1975, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Season's Greetings, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives