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ODI Fridays: Maintaining the archive of the world’s largest museum complex

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What kind of work goes into maintaining the archives responsible for capturing the history of the world’s largest museum complex?

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Join us on Zoom at lunchtime for our regular ODI Fridays talks. Once you've signed up, we'll send you the link to join. Due to the time difference, this talk will start at 3pm.

What kind of work goes into maintaining the archives responsible for capturing the history of the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex? Staff from the Smithsonian Institution Archives will discuss how they lean on data to collect, preserve, and make accessible the history of the Smithsonian Institution. Topics will range from caring for born-digital collections to writing descriptive metadata for photographic materials to preserving physical documents and audio-visual materials.

About the speakers

Tammy L. Peters is the acting director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives and a supervisory archivist. She leads the archives information management team and the reference team, which identify materials that should be kept in the Archives to document the Smithsonian's history, make sure that any researcher can find what they need in our holdings, and answer many diverse questions that range from the routine to the strange.

Alison Reppert Gerber is the preservation coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She supports the preservation of the Archives’ collections through ensuring proper housing, monitoring environmental conditions, conducting condition assessments, and maintaining emergency preparedness plans.

Marguerite Roby is the photograph archivist at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She primarily works with the historic Photographic Services collection and considers descriptive metadata, controlled vocabularies, and levels of access in every aspect of her work.

Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig is the digital archivist at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She is responsible for the long-term preservation and accessibility of various digital collections that include email, websites, social media, images, audio, and video content from across the Smithsonian.

Kira Sobers is the digital media coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She leads a team responsible for digitizing images, audio and videos in the Archives’ collections for reference requests and use on the web.

First image: Adobe Stock

Second image: by Ken Rahaim of the Smithsonian Institution Archives’ Public Reference Room in Washington, DC (cc by 2.0)

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