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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Freer|Sackler Archives Image Galleries

The Freer|Sackler Archives is pleased to announce the unveiling of two revamped Image Galleries!  Over the years, the archives and special collection units across the Smithsonian have developed their own Image Galleries based on the collections they have begun to digitize.  The Image Galleries provide a quick and easy portal into the SIRIS and Collections Search Center where the records and digital images of the collections live.  Although the Image Galleries are geared more towards the general-browsing visitor, they can be used as excellent tools in communicating the intellectual and physical organizations of a specific collection.

For example, the Freer|Sackler created and updated Main Image Gallery version of all of our current collections (image above).  There are four main ways to browse the images, by: Individuals, Topics, Types, and Places.  For each division there are then subdivisions as appropriate to the collections within the F|S Archives.  This image gallery is an excellent place for browsing F|S Archives' collections and becoming acquainted with the various holdings we have in our possession.  If you find you are interested in Topics>Description and Travel, you will find yourself directed to the Collections Search Center to all records cataloged as "description and travel" (image to right).

F|S Archives is also using the Image Gallery tool to promote use and scholarship regarding the Ernst Herzfeld papers.  Through generous funding from the Leon Levy Foundation, the Archives has been able to digitize and catalog vast portions of the Herzfeld papers.  Now that there are several series (intellectual subdivision) of the collection and thousands of images to work with, the archives has created a separate Ernst Herzfeld Image Gallery (image below).

Although the cataloging and digitization is not yet finished, we have been able to provide several exploratory categories: Collection/Series, Subject Terms, Forms and Genres, Geographical Locations, and Archaeological Sites.  A similar breakdown to the Main Image Gallery, but also features a new tool via the Geographical Locations; whose function is to provide thumbnails on a map to mark the place of origination/creation for each object as represented by a digital image of that object (image to left).  By clicking on each progressive thumbnail level, visitors can zoom into specific geographical locations and view the records/images from each site.

 All Image Galleries are supported and created in partnership with the SIRIS Office of the Smithsonian Institution.  The F|S Archives' Image Gallery pages have then been updated by an extremely talented intern from the University of Michigan, School of Information Program.  The F|S Archives submitted a project to their Alternative Spring Break program that pairs students with archives across the DC, NYC, Chicago, or Detroit area.  We worked intensely with the intern for the one week spring break period to create this beautiful redesign.  Since then we've polished it up and published it officially as of June 14th, 2011.  The F|S Archives owes the SIRIS office, the School of Information ASB program, and our talented intern a huge debt of gratitude for delivering us a product that the Archives otherwise would not have been able to create. 

I hope you enjoy these resources powered by the collections of the F|S Archives.

Rachael Cristine Woody
Freer|Sackler Archives


  1. The results that have been achieved are nothing short of magnificent. This is a wonderful resource, which will be appreciated by all who visit for many years to come.