|Freer Sackler Library|
Though archivists work very hard to ensure collections are organized and accessible to researchers both physically and intellectually, there is always work to be done to make discovery possible. As the new archivist at Freer|Sackler, I have been working through the archival collections, gathering knowledge on their physical layout and breadth of content. I realized we had a lot of institutional records scattered throughout our movable shelving, so, with Archivist David Hogge’s blessing, I reorganized and consolidated the institutional records so they would be more easily accessible and understandable. I thought this would be a simple matter of moving of boxes and re-shelving of items, but in the process I found a pot of gold.
|Construction of the Freer|
|Dalai Lama at the Freer Sackler in 1995.|
|The Freer Medal and Mold.|
One of the best things about this profession is that you never know what you are going to find, even in your own archives. I was doing what seemed to be a routine activity for an archivist (reorganizing institutional records), and yet I found a treasure trove of materials, history, and stories. It goes back to the adage of not seeing the forest for the trees. It was a nice reminder that the Smithsonian is a pretty amazing place to visit, explore, and work.
Lara Amrod, Archivist