While working on the museum archive this week I learned much about both the museum and the Hanson Library. In 1993, the museum reopened after a two year closer and $20 million expansion. The expansion added two new wings to the museum, a sculpture garden, a theater, and a permanent space for the Clarence B. Hanson Library. The expanded building was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes (more information on this architect can be found here). This expansion ensured that the Birmingham Museum of Art would be the largest art museum in the South East. In addition to the largest collection of Wedgwood outside of the UK, the museum is also home to a renowned collection of Asian, South American/NativeAmerican, and African art.
More recently, the Hanson Library acquired new collections bringing the total collection of volumes to 30,000. These new collections include the Buten Library and Archives ( a Wedgwood collection that significantly adds to the current collection), the Artemis Library (from the former Artemis Library in London), and the Robert Kaufmann Library ( a 2,000 volume collection of books on art history and Victoriana). These additions greatly enhance what was already a comprehensive research art library.
I have just about finished the first part of the Museum Archive. The image below illustrates the materials to be included in the archive and how they line the stacks of the library waiting to be scanned.
In addition to this, several VHS tapes were examined, and those that were to be included in the archive were sent to a company that will convert them to DVD. Archival boxes for the storage of these discs were ordered. I am pictured below with one of these boxes.