Posted on October 25th, 2013 by Rachel
For my first project as an intern with the Jewish Museum of Maryland, I have been processing the Ladies Auxiliary of Levindale collection. In working with this collection I have learned a lot about the history of the Levindale Ladies Auxiliary and its members. Some of the most interesting pieces that I have gotten to work with are the issues of the Levindale Light which were released seasonally. Since it is fall, I thought I would take a look back at what the Ladies’ Auxiliary was doing this time of year in 1976.
Levindale Light- Fall 1976 Issue
In the Fall of 1976, Carole Fradkin had just completed her first year of being the President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary. Within that year the auxiliary had achieved several goals including the move of the Volunteer Gift Shop from the Kahn Levy Building into the Goldenberg Building off the main lobby and the necessary installment of sixty air conditioners for the bedrooms of all the residents. This achievement led to new goals for membership and future programs.
Carole Fradkin, President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Levindale in 1976
With the membership drive taking place, this issue highlighted the “Mother & Daughter Teams” of the Ladies’ Auxiliary. One of those mother daughter teams was the Fradkin family who were a third generation volunteer family. While Carole Fradkin was the president, her mother in law Mrs. I. A. Fradkin was in charge of keeping track of volunteers’ hours, and her daughter was close behind working as a Junior volunteer for several years. Family was an important aspect of the Auxiliary as the issue states “Throughout the almost 50 years of the Auxiliary’s existence, our volunteers have developed a warm feeling towards the residents- which has generated among members of the volunteer families” (6). In reading through this particular issue and looking at the photographs from the collection, I can definitely say that the Ladies Auxiliary promoted a strong sense of community and family through their volunteer efforts and programs.
Two other mother-daughter teams are photographed volunteering and spending time with Mr. Bain. The mother-daughter teams from left to right are Gail Feinberg, Mrs. Henry Lesser, Jackie Lesser, and Mrs. Gilbert Feinberg.
A blog post by Fall Collections Intern Meg Davis. To read additional blog posts by JMM interns, click here.
Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Archives Intern Kathleen Morrison. Kathleen works under the supervision of Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink. To read additional posts by Kathleen and other interns, click here.
My internship will be over in less than a month from now, having gone by pretty quickly, at least to me. As the end of this experience nears, I realize how much time and labor goes into running a good museum. Behind the scenes are thousands of papers, photos, and objects, the majority of which have been cataloged and sorted and put away in one of our collection rooms. A lot of the things I’ve seen were done by staff and former interns, but there’s a fair share of volunteer efforts down here in collections.
Currently, I’m working on transcribing an oral history from the late Doctor Arnall Patz, one of several where he was interviewed for the museum. It was recorded by a volunteer. This museum, with its small size and budget compared to institutions like Johns Hopkins and the Smithsonian collections, does its best with the help of all the volunteers. The staff are lovely and work hard, but there is always more work than there are people. It’s so nice to go look for something and then see that a former intern cataloged it carefully and correctly, or that a volunteer went through the boxes and moved things around (with direction!) to create a little more shelf space for us to accept artifacts from people.
When I was younger, I thought I could do most any job as long as it wasn’t repetitive and boring. But working in a small museum has shown me what a labor of love it is. None of the staff would be here if they were not passionate about Jewish history in Maryland, or about working in a museum. You feel kind of proud when you put something away to be saved for future generations. Even though I’m not Jewish, I am a Marylander and it’s a good feeling when I come across things I didn’t know about this state and its people as I work. History is far more close and personal than some people, myself included, realize. To work in a museum is to help make sure we never lose that connection to people who lived before us, who did the hard work to give us the world we have now.
Posted on June 20th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post from Archives Intern Kathleen Morrison. Kathleen is working with Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.
Since I’ve been at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, I’ve mostly been downstairs in the archival rooms cataloging papers. While down there, I get to work around objects and pictures hanging on the racks. Sometimes I get up and I take a walk around the aisles. Some of the objects are very ornate and special, and others are regular items.
When we go through school, we learn mostly about big names and events, but items like the ones we have here at the museum remind me that, as much as I love Great Man/Woman-based history, the majority of the world was and is ordinary people going about their lives. Their hopes and their problems are what makes history tangible. We have objects brought over from Russia and Eastern Europe by immigrants seeking a new life in a country where it was safer to be Jewish. The other day, I cataloged the US Customs ID card from 1918 that belonged to a young man. We have kitchen utensils, clothes, books, pins, badges, flags, sheet music. All the ephemera from daily life in the Jewish community and the Baltimore community one could imagine are here. It makes me wonder what people will be preserving in the future from this decade.
Included is a photo of my favorite object, a bottle of camphor oil that has settled and begun to separate.