Tag: Archives

Not the Doghouse: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Archives with Snoopy!

When the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company announced in 2016 that it was laying off Snoopy, a feature of its advertising, in favor of a “clean, modern aesthetic,” I felt like I was being sent to the doghouse myself. I’m not a Met Life policyholder, I don’t own a beagle, and I know Snoopy will still… Read more →

The Heifer and Its Lymph: The Animal Vaccine Establishment’s Register Book

Few people I know like working at the UK National Archives. They find it too impersonal, too frigid, too strict. But since I first worked there in July 2014, it has become my archival home. The place is dependable — you can always find silence in the reading rooms, good espresso in the ground-floor café,… Read more →

Adventures without Archives: Professors without Travel Funding

I am a professor teaching at a public teaching university in Grand Junction, Colorado. I love research and thinking about research. However, I am poor in both time and funding. Like others at similar institutions, I teach a 4/4 load with close to 150 students per semester and my institution does not allow us to… Read more →

Up in Flames: The Death of Brazil’s Museu Nacional

What do you do when your archive burns down? That’s a question that I, as well as thousands of researchers in Brazil and across the globe, faced on Sunday, September 2, when Brazil’s Museu Nacional (National Museum) in Rio de Janeiro went up in flames. The largest national history museum in Latin America, the Museu’s… Read more →

On Infanticide and Reluctant Maternity: Between Personal Testimony and Historical Sensitivity

As a historian of gender and medicine, I sometimes have nightmares about the scenes of medical suffering that appear in archival sources. The setting is always the same: the historical medical-school-turned-archive where I conducted research. Because I study surgical technologies, my dreams tend to be chilling portraits of the instruments physicians used in obstetrical interventions…. Read more →

Pinkie, Your Hospital Pal! Or, Why I Bought a Weird Old Hand Puppet on eBay

I met Pinkie just as I was nearing the end of my M. Louise Carpenter Gloeckner, M.D. Summer Research Fellowship at the Drexel University College of Medicine’s Legacy Center. I had already spent several weeks combing through the archives of Hahnemann University and Woman’s Medical College, looking for details about the history of doctors’ wives,… Read more →

Locating Enslaved Black Wet Nurses in the Literature of French Slavery

In George Sand’s 1832 idealist novel, Indiana, the eponymous protagonist is raised alongside her sœur de lait or “milk sister” Noun in the French Indian Ocean colony of Île Bourbon (present day Réunion). A “milk sister” was the daughter of the often enslaved wet nurse, and under French slave laws, children of enslaved women carried… Read more →

Adventures in the Archives: Living in a Material World

By Jacqueline Antonovich

A wise woman once remarked, “We are living in a material world and I am a material girl.” And while this ode to consumption may have been referring to the procurement and enjoyment of luxury items, I think Madonna may have been on to something – though perhaps not in the way she intended. You see, over this past summer I had an unintentional, but deeply meaningful, love affair with . . . material culture.

The Body as Archive

Trying to become a public historian and freelance writer in grad school is requiring me to walk a difficult tightrope. I want to be as authentic as humanly possible, but I’m also a professor-in-training; I don’t want to put anything out into the world that I would have trouble explaining to a hiring committee, to… Read more →

Adventures in the Archives: Tales from the Crypt(ic) Rules of Archive Etiquette

This summer I, like many of my colleagues, packed up my laptop and #2 pencil and headed out to foreign archives in distant lands—and by that I mean I took a research trip through the beautiful U.S. Southwest. I had two archives to visit, and I was sure to contact both a couple of weeks… Read more →