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
This is the fourth blog post in our series on graphic design in letterhead.
For this post, we will be showcasing examples of design found in letterhead of press releases closer to home, from the Society as a whole, as well as releases from the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Continue reading
In fall of 1916, the Bronx Zoo opened its Animal Hospital—the first such facility to open at a US zoo. To celebrate this centennial, we’re looking back on some WCS Zoological Health Program images and materials from the WCS Archives.
We’re very excited to start work on a one-year project funded by the Leon Levy Foundation [LLF] to ingest and process our legacy digital removable media! This project builds directly on the success of last year’s National Digital Stewardship Residency [NDSR] Project. However, while that work focused on electronic records that are just now being transferred to the Archives, the LLF project will allow us to work with digital materials that had been previously transferred to the Archives as part of predominantly paper-based collections. Continue reading
Archivists mine the collections and materials they process for key points of access, as gateways to gain attention and connect researchers to archival resources. Keeping in mind the needs of both the current and future generations of researchers, locations, names, dates, specific activities and events, along with other keywords get logged in the mind’s eye of processors whilst looking to make sense of the surviving records under their care. Terms like these provide valuable clues and points of entry into the materials to unearth important pathways for discovering existing relationships. Continue reading
In 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 Archives holds a number of collections that tell the story of the New York Zoological Society and its activities in the realm of public affairs. A portion of these materials relate to the former Department of Government Affairs which, from the period of the 1960s-1980s, produced records that serve to provide a snapshot into the Society’s contributions towards wildlife conservation legislation. Continue reading
The Bronx Zoo, like many public facilities, has long had internal protocols for both standard operating procedures and emergency operating procedures [EOPs]. In the early 1970s, the Bronx Zoo’s newly-revitalized Safety Committee conducted a series of revisions of the Zoo’s Emergency Procedures Manual. The revision process included gathering and codifying types of emergencies, ideal responses, and needed equipment from a wide variety of departments. Continue reading
As we mentioned back in December, the WCS Archives was recently awarded a major grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to process several important collections. We’ve now started in on processing the collections, which in addition to the collections from Fairfield Osborn, Lee S. Crandall, and others that we mentioned in our initial announcement, also include records from James A. Oliver, New York Zoological Society press releases spanning most of the 20th Century, and several hundred illustrations from the Department of Tropical Research.
In order to complete the work, the Archives has brought on a full-time project archivist, Emma Curtis, to do the bulk of the processing. Each month Emma will be sharing her progress and latest discoveries in a post here on Wild Things. We’re as thrilled to have her with us as we are to be working on the grant!
These first few weeks have brought a few notable insights of New York Zoological Society’s rich history as progress begins to ramp up on tackling the thirteen previously unprocessed and under-processed collections selected from WCS Archives holdings for this project.
As we’ve been reporting, the WCS Archives has spent the first half of the year working on a project to preserve our photographic negative collection. Funded by the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials, the project serves as the first phase in what we intend to be a larger initiative to preserve the entire collection. During this first phase, we identified and rehoused the collection’s first 10,267 photographic negatives. This included 2,111 dry plate glass negatives and 8,156 acetate film negatives; of these, all of the glass negatives and 60% of the acetate negatives were 5×7”, and 40% of the acetate negatives were 4×5” or smaller. Continue reading