Wonderful Women Wednesday: Mary Ellen McCaffrey

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Mary Ellen McCaffrey was a powerhouse with the Smithsonian’s Office of Printing and Photographic Services from 1972 until her retirement in 1995. As production control officer, she ensured that the photo orders submitted to the office were processed and completed. Sometimes, those jobs meant the office was required to make reproduction negatives. In other instances, staff needed to produce original photography. McCaffrey coordinated it all.

Of McCaffrey, Lorie Aceto, deputy director of the office, told the Torch, “The whole place would fall apart without her.”

Before joining the production control office, McCaffrey split her time between working in the customer service section and the negative library. 

Someone out of frame hands McCaffrey a piece of paper. She is seated at her desk, which appears orga

Related Resources

  • Q&A: Mary Ellen McCaffrey keeps tabs on Photo Services jobs, The Torch, January 1986

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