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 more than thirty years, while others are just beginning their tenure here. There will be some changes in the virtual office as we welcome a new staff member this summer who brings her expertise and new ideas to the Archives.
Continuing our series on introducing new staff, I’d like to welcome Smithsonian Libraries and Archives data specialist Mariah Wahl.
What's your educational or work background?
I have an M.S.I.S. and an MA.. in english with a focus in digital studies from the University of Texas. Before I came to the Smithsonian, I was a metadata specialist at Illinois State University’s Milner Library.
What do you do at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives?
I am a data specialist, working with Libraries and Archives on linked open data projects for the American Women’s History Initiative.
What is the strangest/most interesting thing you have discovered at the Archives so far?
So far, I have been most intrigued by the Smithsonian’s collection of materials relating to naturalist Mary Vaux Walcott. She was a talented artist and accomplished mountaineer in the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, where I live. She even has a mountain in Jasper National Park, in Alberta, Canada, named after her!
What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned about working here?
That there is so much institutional knowledge and history to be learned! I’m glad I joined right before the launch of the Hungerford Deed exhibit, so I could learn more about the Smithsonian’s origins.
What is your favorite spot in D.C. to recommend to visitors?
Because I work remotely, I haven’t visited D.C. since I was a kid. Accepting recommendations for the post-pandemic world!