Friday, February 11, 2011

Week 4

Last week I had thought I had finished with the clippings, and would be starting on scrapbooks. However as I examined some of the scrapbooks, I quickly discovered they were actually more clippings glued chronologically into books and separated by year. According to the original finding aid (which will have to be expanded and modified in order to accommodate new items I have found) the clippings were stored in this fashion. The dates of these items ranged from the 1960's through the early 1980's. I sorted these items, and now have a record of clippings that begin in the 1960's and go through the early 2000's. These clippings will all be scanned and stored digitally.

Some of the items I examined were scrapbooks, and the range of information in them was fascinating. Examples include scrapbooks devoted to the annual Museum Ball fundraiser, scrapbooks describing the events of the Birmingham Museum of Art Women's Committee, and a set of scrapbooks detailing the world of art from articles and magazines published before the founding of the museum. The images below depict a sample of Women's Committee scrapbooks, and a page from a Museum Ball scrapbook featuring an invitation.


It was interesting to learn of the influence the Women's Committee had on the museum. It was not unlike the role women's organizations played in the development of libraries in the early 20th Century. For example, from the founding of the museum in the 1950's through the early 1970's it was the Women's Committee that developed and organized the lecture series. There are scrapbooks that detail the efforts and successes these women shared, and they provide excellent documentation.

The three sets of scrapbooks describing art and artists before the museum was created were also very interesting. The image below illustrates one example.

Some of the pages in these scrapbooks are loose, and the advertisements found on the back are equally interesting, and provide a snapshot of American culture. These items will be kept, but for the time being they have been separated from the rest of the collection.   

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