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 winter who bring their expertise and new ideas to the Archives.
Continuing our series on introducing new staff, I’d like to welcome our new Website and Social Media Content Manager, Emily Niekrasz.
What’s your educational background?
I have a master’s degree in museum studies and a bachelor’s degree in history from the George Washington University. Most of my research and projects revolved around Washington, D.C history.
What do you do at the Smithsonian Institution Archives?
I write content and respond to questions on social media and manage the Archives’ blog, The Bigger Picture. I also work on making our website user-friendly. Have a suggestion or comment? Message me on one of our social media channels!
What is the strangest/most interesting thing you have discovered at the Archives so far?
Well, let’s just say that if you’re looking for me, I’m likely at my desk glued to all of the Archives’ past blog posts. If there’s a topic you’re interested in about collections, conservation, career advice, and pretty much anything else, you’ll find it on our Archives blog. One of my favorites is a post in which archivist Jennifer Wright made a recipe found in a docent cookbook in the Archives’ collections. Another great post that I consistently come back to is by conservator Nora Lockshin about how to preserve your family photographs with links to helpful tips.
What is the most unexpected thing you learned about working here?
I still can’t get over how big our Smithsonian network is and how many people are constantly sharing ideas. I not only get to work and learn from everyone else at the Archives, but I also get to meet folks from other museums, research centers, and the Zoo at various meetings for Smithsonian Transcription Center participants, webmasters, and those involved in various special projects across the Smithsonian.
Favorite spot to recommend to visitors?
This one’s for visitors and Washingtonians alike! The Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. It was the original home of the central D.C. public library, which never segregated its patrons, despite discriminatory policies in other public buildings around the nation’s capital. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is now located in the building, which is scheduled to reopen with new exhibits in 2019.