The Archives is made up of wonderful, helpful, and hard working individuals who strive to acquire, preserve, and make accessible records that document the history of the Smithsonian Institution. Some of our staff have been at the Smithsonian for 30 plus years, while others are just beginning their tenure here. There will be some changes in the office as we welcome new staff members coming on board this summer who bring their expertise and new ideas to the Archives. In a series of posts we'd like to introduce them to you.
To start things off, I am pleased to introduce Heidi Stover. Heidi is an Archives Technician on our Reference Team who will be working primarily with our photo collections, doing photo fulfillment and researching photos to improve their information. We had a few questions for Heidi and she was kind enough to answer them.
What’s your educational background?
I have a BA in history and a MA in American Studies with an emphasis in Heritage and Museum Practice.
What do you do at the Smithsonian Institution Archives?
I work on the reference team dealing mainly with the huge 3 million piece photograph collection. This means I get to answer people’s questions about this immense and fascinating collection.
What is the strangest/most interesting thing you have discovered at the Archives so far?
While re-processing Record Unit 95 - Photograph Collection, 1850's - I found a copy negative of an image taken by Mathew Brady. As a Civil War buff this was extremely exciting for me, even if it was a copy!
What is the most unexpected thing you have learned about working here?
Just how robust the Smithsonian Institution is. Since we have records from all the different museums and units, I can really see how big the entire Institution is. It also makes for complications on doing permissions and who has what, but for the most part, I did not expect to be working so closely with so many different people at so many different museums.
Favorite spot in DC to recommend to visitors?
It has to be the Rotunda at The National Archives and Records Administration! This is where the Charters of Freedom are housed for permanent exhibit. Seeing the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is something everyone should see!