Happy Administrative Professionals Day

William Bridges and Lucy Ouzoonion, circa 1950s.

Today in the WCS Archives we pay tribute to WCS’s Administrative Professionals, past and present.  In fact, without our Administrative Professionals, we would not have an archives.  For in their everyday roles, it is these staff members who have recorded, organized, saved, managed—and sometimes even decoded—the records that are WCS’s archives today.

Coded telegram written to William Hornaday and decoded by his secretary, Edith Franz. WCS Archives Collection 1001.

We were so pleased to be gifted the photo above recently of one of these Administrative Professionals, Lucy Ouzoonion, who spent her career as secretary to William Bridges, WCS’s Curator of Publications from 1935 to 1967.  Even though we are indebted to these women—and in WCS’s past, they were always women—for our archives today, they tend to turn up in our records in indirect ways.  Most often, they appear as typists’ initials at the bottom of letters.  

So to Lucy Ouzoonion, ef (Edith Franz), res (Rosalie E. Sevcik) gb (Gail Bonsignore), li (Louise Ingenito), gm (Gerry Marsetller), and ms (Myra Schomberg), we thank you and WCS’s dozens of other Administrative Professionals. You have ensured that WCS’s Archives exist today.

Original New York Aquarium Exhibit Labels [NYA 125th]

These are some of the original labels that were used on the exhibits at the New York Aquarium when it was located at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. According to the then director of the Aquarium, Charles H. Townsend, the information on the labels reflected the questions most often posed by visitors including geographic distribution, abundance, size, commercial value, and importance as game.

This post is part of our series through the year to celebrate the New York Aquarium’s 125th Anniversary.

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New York Aquarium 125th Anniversary

This year, the New York Aquarium is celebrating 125 years of connecting people to the marine world. Established originally at Battery Park (pictured in this 1931 postcard) in 1896 by New York City, the aquarium transferred to the WCS’s management in 1902 following the successful opening of the Bronx Zoo. In 1957, it moved to its current home in Coney Island. To celebrate its 125 years of having been a leader in marine conservation science as well as a beloved attraction for NYC locals and tourists alike, the WCS Archives will be highlighting the history of the aquarium throughout the year.

#BatWeek and Halloween 2020 [Instagram]

Happy Halloween! We’re celebrating the spookiest day of the year and the end of Bat Week with this 1969 cover from WCS’s magazine Animal Kingdom marking the opening of the World of Darkness exhibit at the Bronx Zoo!

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WCS 125th Anniversary

From the WCS Instagram:

On April 26, 1895, 125 years ago today, WCS was founded as the New York Zoological Society. Today, we celebrate over a century of successes at saving wildlife and wild places, powered by the expertise and science in our zoos, aquarium, and global conservation program.

We mark our anniversary with heavy hearts, as our world suffers from a pandemic tearing apart our communities. With much hope, we will continue to use our mission to help prevent future pandemics.

Watch a video about our history via this link.

Earth Day 50th Anniversary

Today we join the world in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Since 1970, WCS has been marking the day by advocating for the conservation of wildlife and wild places. The first year included the Bronx Zoo’s first “graveyard” of extinct animals, lectures and film screenings for Bronx Zoo visitors,  and an all-day teach-in at the New York Aquarium.  Shown here is the Bronx Zoo Children’s Zoo in 1970.  For more on this history, check this link.

A History of Helping [Wild View]

Over on WCS’s photo blog Wild View, check out a post from WCS Staff Photographer Julie Larsen Maher on WCS’s history of helping in times of need. Shown is the American Red Cross set up in the Bronx Zoo Lion House during World War I.

Archives Ladies Who Lead: Constance Carter [Instagram]

For this month’s Archives Hashtag Party theme of “Archives Ladies Who Lead” in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating Constance Carter. Immediately following her graduation from Smith College, Connie traveled to Trinidad in 1960 to work as a member of WCS’s Department of Tropical Research, conducting ecological research. Shown here is Connie at work with caterpillars in the DTR’s Simla lab. Connie went on to become Head of the Science Reference Section for the Library of Congress. Even post-retirement, Connie has been a force, continuing to lead the way through information for scientists, historians, and other researchers.

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