Classical Observation Techniques Videohistory Collection
The Smithsonian Videohistory Program, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation from 1986 until 1992, used video in historical research. Additional collections have been added since the grant project ended. Videohistory uses the video camera as a historical research tool to record moving visual information. Video works best in historical research when …
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
John Peabody Harrington papers
Harrington was a Bureau of American Ethnology ethnologist involved in the study of over one hundred American tribes. His speciality was linguistics. Most of the material concerns California, southwestern, northwestern tribes and includes ethnological, archeological, historical notes; writings, correspondence, photographs, sound recordings, biological specimens, and other types of documents. Also of concern are general linguistics, sign language, writing systems, writing machines, and sound recordings machines. There is also some material on New World Spanish, Old World languages. In addition, there are many manuscripts of writings that Harrington sketched, partially completed, or even completed but never published. The latter group includes not only writings about anthropological subjects but also histories, ranging from a biography of Geronimo to material on the history of the typewriter. The collection incorporates material of Richard Lynch Garner, Matilda Coxe Stevenson, and others. In his field work, Harrington seems sometimes to have worked within fairly firm formats, this especially being true when he was "rehearing" material, that is in using an informant to verify and correct the work of other researchers. Often, however, the interviews with informants (and this seems to have been the case even with some "rehearings") seem to have been rather free form, for there is a considerable intertwining of subjects. Nevertheless, certain themes frequently appear in his work, including annotated vocabularies concerning flora and fauna and their use, topography, history and biography, kinship, cosmology (including tribal astronomy), religion and philosophy, names and observations concerning neighboring tribes, sex and age division, material culture, legends, and songs. The fullness of such materials seems to have been limited only by the time Harrington had to spend with a goup and the knowledge of his informants.
William Page and Page Family papers
The papers of the portraitist and art theorist William Page and the Page family measure 11.06 linear feet and date from 1815 to 1947, bulk 1843-1892. In addition to the papers of William Page, the papers include documents related to Page's wife's career as a writer and records documenting their personal lives and the lives of their family members. Types of documents found include personal documents and artifacts, correspondence, essays, lectures, diaries, poems, notes and notebooks, financial records, legal records, published works, clippings, catalogs, photographs, and artwork.
Hiram Powers papers
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Of note is Powers' "Studio Memorandum," from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional papers include scattered biographical material, financial and legal records, printed materials, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
American Federation of Arts records
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 79.8 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1981 Festival of American Folklife
The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
Raphael Soyer papers
The papers of realist painter Raphael Soyer date from 1933 to 1989 and measure 3.9 linear feet. They document Soyer's career as a painter, printmaker, and writer. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, including several transcripts of interviews with Soyer; extensive personal and professional correspondence; writings and notes by Soyer and others; scattered legal and financial records; exhibition materials, clippings and other printed material; and photographs of Soyer in his studio, with artists and friends, and at art events. Also found are one sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.
Pauline B. and Myron S. Falk, Jr. Papers
Papers of art collectors Pauline Baerwald Falk (1910-2000) and Myron Samuel (Johnny) Falk Jr. (1906-1992). This collection includes correspondence; art collection documentation; research materials; photographs (slides and prints) and audiovisual materials; financial information; biographical data; records of philanthropic and social activities; travel records; and appointment books.
Cooper-Bessemer Corporation Records
These records document the activities of the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and Grove City, Pennsylvania, manufacturers of steam, gas, and oil engines, compressors, and furnaces.