Author Archives: wcsarchivesadmin

NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Grant Project Complete

As we reported back in August 2015, the WCS Archives received a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  We’re pleased now to report the completion of the project, in which we developed a Conceptual Preservation Design Plan for a new WCS Archives space.  Situated in the Bronx Zoo’s Heads and Horns Building, this space would include a large collections storage area to provide safe, sustainable preservation conditions for our historical materials, proper fhich we currently lack) to host those consulting the collections as well as classes and small lectures, and a small exhibition area to showcase WCS’s historical treasures to invited audiences.  Continue reading

Early Photo Retouching and Other Reflections from the WCS Archives Photo Preservation Project

Wildlife Conservation Society_11357_Southern Bald Eagle_BZ_06 26 29In the first phase of a project whose eventual purpose is to conserve the WCS Archives’ collection of nearly 50,000 photographic negatives, the assessment of some 10,000-plus of these has been a mostly shared endeavor between myself and another intern. Dating from 1899 to 1946, this first batch of negatives is of interest from more than one perspective:  not only do the images constitute a visual timeline of WCS’s history and the histories of zoos, aquariums, and wildlife conservation, the negatives themselves can also be seen as artifacts that represent milestones from within the discipline of photography. Among other things in the collection, we see the transition from the use of glass to film negatives, as well as early attempts at photo manipulation.  Continue reading

WCS NDSR Project Post: “{Let’s Get Digital} Recap”

Our NDSR Resident, Genevieve Havemeyer-King, was recently one of the organizers of a free, all-day symposium on digital preservation held under the auspices of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Archivists Round Table of New York, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

As an attendee, I can say that the event was a rousing success!  In her latest post on the NDSR-NY Resident blog, Genevieve showcases the day’s highlights and links to slides and other resources from the presentations and workshops:

Check it out!

WCS NDSR Project Post: “Trojan Dots and DIY Solutions”

Our National Digital Stewardship Resident here at the WCS Archives,  Genevieve Havemeyer-King, has another post  on the NDSR-NY Program blog:

In this post Genevieve talks about her takeaways from a recent conference and describes one of the smallest challenges we’ve faced so far—so tiny, in fact, that we nearly didn’t see it!

Check it out!

WCS NDSR Project Post: “Blurred Lines, Shapes, and Polygons,” parts 1 and 2

Genevieve Havemeyer-King, the National Digital Stewardship Resident here at the WCS Archives,  has recently published a two-part post at the Library of Congress’s digital preservation blog, “The Signal”:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Genevieve’s series of blog posts documenting her time at WCS continue here with a discussion of the complexities of preserving geospatial data and an interview with Frank Donnelly, the GIS Librarian at Baruch College (CUNY).

Check it out!

WCS NDSR Project Post: “In With the Old: Selection, Appraisal & the Producer-Archive Interface”

Genevieve Havemeyer-King, the National Digital Stewardship Resident here at the WCS Archives,  has another post  on the NDSR-NY Program blog:

This time Genevieve describes some of the challenges of selecting born-digital materials and transferring them to the Archives for the NDSR pilot project.

Check it out!

WCS Archives Awarded NHPRC Access to Historical Records Grant

nhprc-logo-mWe are delighted to report that the WCS Archives has been awarded $60,237 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to process 13 important collections from the Archives. Among these are New York Zoological Society (NYZS) President Fairfield Osborn records and World’s Fair records, 1935-1967; Bronx Zoo General Curator Lee S. Crandall records, 1903-1969; NYZS Conservation Department records, circa 1969-1979; and NYZS Education Department records, circa 1967 to 1982.

In short, this project’s goal is to provide access to unprocessed and unexposed collections that document the mid-twentieth-century American environmental and wildlife conservation movements; reveal the evolution of exhibit design and animal care in zoos and aquariums; and provide exceptional glimpses into both zoo- and conservation-based activities in the United States. Together these collections cover pivotal events in the history of WCS that also represent important moments and trends in the cultural and scientific histories of New York City, the US, and the world.

The project will run from June 2016 to June 2017, and we look forward to sharing news and finds with you as the project progresses!

Eagle Sculptures at the Bronx Zoo (And Beyond), Part 2

IMG_0636This post was written by Kimio Honda,  Studio Manager in WCS’s Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department. This is part 2 of 2 posts on eagle sculptures at the Bronx Zoo and beyond.

Beyond the eagles I described in my previous post, there are a few other, though less visible, eagle sculptures at the Bronx Zoo. These belonged to the building behind the current Birds of Prey exhibit that was originally known as the Winter House for Eagles, built in 1912. (You can see original plans for the building on the NYC Design Flickr page.) Curator of Birds William Beebe took the building as a research space as early as 1914, and it later served as the headquarters for his Department of Tropical Research. The Beebe Lab, as it was known, later became the office for the Publications Department, and house now Digital Programs and Media Production.  Continue reading

WCS NDSR Project Post: “AMIA 2015”

Our National Digital Stewardship Resident, Genevieve Havemeyer-King, has another post  on the NDSR-NY Program blog:

This one focuses on her experience at the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ 2015 annual conference.  As Genevieve notes, of particular interest to WCS’s mission–and our NDSR project–“was Linda Tadic’s (Digital Bedrock) talk on the environmental impact of digital preservation.”

Check it out!