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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooked in the Stacks

Child with Jack-o-lantern [photoprint]. From J. Horace McFarland Collection, Archives of American Gardens.
True story: archives aren't as creepy in real life as they are in movies. There aren't cobwebs hanging from the shelves, and no dust clouds blown off crumbling books stacked haphazardly atop one another. They aren't lit by archaic lanterns or candles and there usually isn't anyone in a tattered and hooded black robe behind the desk.

But that doesn't mean we can't find some spooky materials in our (un-cobwebbed) boxes. Today, we celebrate the creepy (and cute!) items in our collections with a Halloween scrapbook, put together by the archivists and librarians from around the Smithsonian. Take a looooooooooooook!

[Funerary floral arrangement] [stereograph]: "Skeleton Leaves." Historic Gardens Stereograph Collection, Archives of American Gardens
WWI soldier facial reconstruction casts and masks, ca. 1918, Anna Coleman Ladd Papers, ca. 1881-1950, Archives of American Art

Sandy Low and Happy Horrigan with the "ghost" of Charles Mahoney, 1925. Charles Mahoney collection of photographs of students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, ca. 1925, Archives of American Art

Scene from a Theatrical or Film Performance [graphic]. Myron Bement Smith Collection: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

Miss Duckett[Her classroom and students; from envelope] [acetate film photonegative,] 1947 November. Scurlock Studio Records, 1905-1994, National Museum of American History. 
“Cobweb House” by Charles Burchfield (1954).
Walter Rosenblum Collection, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Informal portrait of Charles Nungesser, French WWI ace, standing beside his Nieuport XXIII.  NASM A-48746-A. National Air and Space Museum Archives.


The "coeur noire" ("black heart") was the personal insignia of French WWI ace Charles Nungesser.  NASM A-32949-A. National Air and Space Museum Archives.

Happy Halloween!
Cecilia Peterson, Project Archivist

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