Alexander Calder in his studio, ca. 1950, Alexander Calder papers, 1926-1967, Archives of American Art.
The Smithsonian’s archives celebrate “October is American Archives Month” with a Smithsonian Archives Fair Friday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the concourse of the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Drive S.W. in Washington, D.C. The event will feature a lecture series on projects and research based on Smithsonian collections, informational displays from more than a dozen Smithsonian archives and an Ask the Smithsonian program with hands-on consultations and preservation tips from experts such as archivists, librarians, museum specialists and conservators to teach local-area residents how to care for items they have tucked away in the attics, closets and basements of their homes.
Preregistration is required for the Ask the Smithsonian program. One to two easily transported archival items (two if the items are related) no larger than a shopping bag may be brought in for review. Archival materials include letters, diaries, maps, scrapbooks, photographs, films, recordings and computer disks—anything that contains information of enduring value. Objects such as paintings, dolls, clothing/textiles, mechanical objects and toys will not be reviewed. The reviews are informational only; monetary appraisals will not be given and donations will not be accepted at this time. To register for an Ask the Smithsonian appointment, call the Smithsonian Institution Archives at (202) 633-5941.
For additional details on the Smithsonian Archives Fair, visit www.aaa.si.edu/news/archives_month.cfm. The Smithsonian has more than a dozen archival units that support program areas ranging from art and culture to history and science and maintain the records documenting the Institution’s history. These repositories preserve and make available documentation, including photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, rare printed materials, business records, maps, drawings, films, video and audio recordings, data and research files.
For those not able to attend the Smithsonian Archives Fair, a Smithsonian paper conservator and an electronic records conservator will be available virtually on the Smithsonian’s Facebook account, http://www.facebook.com/SmithsonianInstitution Thursday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.to answer any questions the public may have about their own paper and electronic archival items.
The Smithsonian Institution’s archives preserve memories, tell stories and solve mysteries every day. The public may visit the Archives’ websites at www.nmnh.si.edu/naa/siasc, search their holdings at the Smithsonian Collections Search Center at http://collections.si.edu and read the Smithsonian Collections Blog at http://si-siris.blogspot.com.
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