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.
Continuing our series on introducing new staff, I’d like to welcome our new Digital Imaging Technician, Jessica Scott.
What's your educational background?
I have a BS in Imaging and Photographic Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, and I earned my Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), with concentrations in Archives & Records Management and Preservation of Information.
What do you do at the Smithsonian Institution Archives?
I am a Digital Imaging Technician. My primary focus is responding to requests for digitization of materials in the Archives' collection by Archives staff or external researchers. I also dedicate much of my time to working on longer term digitization efforts such as the Field Book Project and Record Unit 158: United States National Museum Curators Annual Reports.
What is the strangest/most interesting thing you have discovered at the Archives so far?
I have been working on field books about ornithology, and I must admit I do have a number of questions about some of the terms the creators used to describe birds. For example, I'd really like to know what an 'alcoholic' bird is?
What is the most unexpected thing you're learned about working here?
The sheer scope and breadth of disciplines that are covered by Smithsonian staff over the centuries. Everything from botany, meteorology, astronomy, art...almost any subject you can think of is likely represented in our collections. It's breathtaking!
Favorite spot in DC to recommend to visitors?
Some of my favorite sights include the World War II Memorial on the National Mall and the National Portrait Gallery. One place people may not have heard of but I definitely recommend is Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. It is off the beaten path, but well worth the visit. It was the DC home of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and now serves as a museum specializing in 18th century French decorative arts and Russian imperial art, as well as Post's personal collection of jewelry and accessories. I would recommend going in the spring when the gardens are in full bloom.