Takin' Care of Records

We look at historic images of Smithsonian work spaces and staff that have helped managed the millions of object in the Institution's collection.

Did you know April is Records and Information Management Month?  Did you also know that the Smithsonian Institution has over 154 million objects, 10 million digital records, and 156,830 cubic feet of archival materials in its collections?  It is mostly thanks to amazing record keeping that we are able to locate, care, and give access to millions of fascinating objects.  So let's take a look at how we have been able to do that for over 170 years!

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Research in Smithsonian Institution Archives on the fourth floor of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, Archivist Samuel T. Suratt is in the background, SIA Acc. 11-008, Image # OPA-1224-37.

Smithsonian Institution Archives located on the second floor, northeast section, of the Arts and Industries Building, RU 95, Image # SIA2011-1487.

Paula Fleming, archivist for the National Museum of Natural History, 1990, SIA Acc. 98-015, Image # SIA2009-2221.

Archives of American Art area in the Fine Arts and Portrait Galleries, now the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portaiture, RU 95, Image # SIA2011-1133.

Smithsonian Institution Archives located on the second floor, northeast section, of the Arts and Industries Building, RU 95, Image # SIA2011-1486.

Mammal Laboratory in the United States National Museum, now known as the Arts and Industries Building, August 1886, SIA Acc. 11-006, Image # MAH-6018.

Receiving Room of the International Exchange Service in the Smithsonian Institution Building, RU 95, Image # MAH-13325.

Russell Chamberlayne, a student in the "Program in Museum Study" offered by the Office of Academic Studies, works with Donald E. Kloster, Assistant Curator of Military History in the Division of National and Military History at the National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History, February 9, 1973, SIA Acc. 11-009, Image #73-1169-09.

Advertising-history experts Scott Ellsworth and Stacy Flaherty look over some story boards in the National Museum of American History's Archives Center, 1989, SIA Acc. 98-015, Image # 88-20043-30.

Conservators at Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA), with Dianne van der Reyden, June 23, 1989. SIA Acc. 11-009, Image # 89-12260-10.

Judith Block is the Registrar at the National Zoological Park. Her job is to keep track of each Zoo animal by means of a record system which includes any information available on new animals as well as what happens to them while at the Zoo, RU 371, Image # 92-1707.

David Haberstich is head of Photographic Collections at National Museum of American History's Archives Center. Haberstich started in the Division of Photographic History and later moved to the Archives Center when it opened, SIA Acc. 98-015, Image # 93-15890-07.

Charles Willson Peale Papers staff: Dr. Lillian B. Miller, Dr. Michael D. Schaffer, Barbara Bares and Rose Emerick. They are in their offices in the National Portrait Gallery. RU 371, Image #94-13192.

Students in the "Program in Museum Study" offered by the Office of Academic Studies work with SI staff in the Smithsonian Institution Archives, located in the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, January 11, 1973, SIA Acc. 11-009, Image # 73-314-07.

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