Dorn C. McGrath Jr., image taken by Rob Crandall, 2013
It was the opportunity to work with the Dorn C. McGrath Jr. Slide Collection and its creator, Professor McGrath, which inspired me to take a three-month sabbatical from my job at the NZFA and join the Archives team at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. I have spent my time here re-housing and cataloguing the collection as well as corresponding and interviewing Professor McGrath about his extensive slide collection. Professor McGrath took the 1,889 slides that comprise the collection between 1969 and 2006. They document both the built and natural environment of the Washington, DC, Anacostia neighborhood. According to Professor McGrath, “The city had done zero planning for Anacostia…and was not likely to do it”. In an effort to redress this gap, Professor McGrath and his George Washington University students surveyed the Anacostia area. The Dorn C. McGrath Jr. Slide Collection is a result of this survey.
|View of Navy Yard from Anacostia, Southeast Washington, DC, 1981 (acma_mcgrath_137)|
This experience has encouraged me to incorporate depositor interviews into my archival practice where possible. It has also taught me that, although there is not enough time for me to process every archival collection, spending time assisting colleagues with their processing work is certainly worthwhile. There is no time like the present to do so!
Kiri Griffin, Summer Intern 2013
Anacostia Community Museum Archives