Posted on April 14th, 2014 by Rachel
Part 1 of a 3 part series on using the JMM On-line Database!
Q: What is the first step in conducting research on Jewish history in Maryland?
A: Checking out our free, searchable on-line database, of course! With 74,753 collections records on-line, you can get a good sense of what we have in our collection. Members and non-members currently have access to the database at jmm.pastperfect-online.com or from the collections-research page on our website.
We have just shy of 11,000 three-dimensional objects in the database, ranging from archaeological sherds in the Lloyd Street Synagogue mikveh, to stained glass windows, track trophies, National Bohemian advertising ephemera, beautiful dresses and military uniforms. I am delighted that nearly 89% of the objects in our collection have been photographed!
One of two stained glass skylights from the Komar Building, Baltimore. The skylights were removed from the balcony of the old theater and from the main stairwell of the building. The design of each skylight contains a central medallion featuring a Star of David. The lights are made of opalescent and cathedral glass. The theater skylight has a cartouche and fan motif surrounding the central medallion, the other skylight medallion is flanked by stylized floral emblems set in a geometric field; both lights c. 1915. 1993.038.002
In just one year we have added 11,851 photograph records to our database, bringing us to 60,692 cataloged photographs! With images attached to 73% of these photographs it’s like going through a gigantic photo album. Hopefully, you will find the images you are looking for. I would like to thank volunteers Marvin Spector and Dana Willan who have scanned and cataloged the lion’s share of those new photos.
Volunteer Marvin Spector scans photos faster than we can attach them!
Our 20,459 archival records, however, pose a little bit more of a challenge to researchers looking for immediate (and complete visual) results. That is because our archival records are not digitized. Further, a single catalog record might describe one piece of paper or an entire manuscript collection filled with hundreds of folders filled with information. Don’t despair! Our finding aids can help you narrow down your archival search. Once you’ve identified which records you are interested in looking at in person, you can contact email@example.com or call 410-732-6402 ext.213 and set up a research appointment. Researching at the JMM is free for members and $8/visit for non-members.
Some of our collections are rather extensive! Become a member of the JMM and your research fees are waived.
Q: What if the first step of your research project hasn’t yielded the results you were hoping for?
A: This doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t have what you are looking for, especially if you are searching for specialized biographical information. While they aren’t in our collections database, we do have birth and death records, cemetery records, ship manifests, genealogies (family trees) and vertical files for many Jewish Marylanders who are not listed in our database.
A researcher works in our library.
The family history resource page of the JMM website has many sources that can help you out. We’ve just updated the links to the spreadsheets, so the information is current. You can also contact our volunteer genealogist at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-732-6402 ext.224. Please have patience as it may take up to two weeks for someone to respond to your inquiry (remember, they are volunteers)!
Q: Still having trouble finding what you are looking for?
A: Think about the specific question you are looking to answer. Write it down and read it to yourself. If the question doesn’t make sense when you read it aloud, try to refine the question. Once you’ve formulated your question – or maybe broken down your question into several components—give it a try. You can always send the question to email@example.com or call 410-732-6402 ext.213, but it may take us a while to get back to you.
A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink. To read more posts from Jobi, click here.
Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Rachel
The JMM posted our summer internship announcements earlier this week. We’re hoping to get another crew of motivated, creative, driven, future museum professionals to help us work on dozens of exciting projects. I also thought that our potential interns might be interested in some of the things that former JMM interns have gone on to do.
Heather Lirette, Education Intern, Summer 2009
I am currently living in Patterson Park and am the Computer Teacher/Technology Coordinator for Gwynns Falls Elementary School on the west side of the City, where I teach PK-5th graders and serve as “IT guru” for the school. I am about halfway through my Masters in Instructional Technology at Towson University.
Sean Whitten, Collections Intern, Summer 2009
I received my MA in Higher Education and have been working in the Admissions and Enrollment Management sector. I worked as an Admissions Counselor for my alma mater, St. Ambrose University, for 2 years. Now, I am currently working for an enrollment and fundraising management firm, RuffaloCODY, as a Project Manager in the Enrollment Management Division. I live in Davenport, Iowa with my wife and expectant child, a girl! That’s me in a nutshell.
Ryan Motevalli-Oliner, Education Intern, Summer 2010
I graduated in 2012 from Kenyon where I majored in American Studies. I taught 7th grade social studies in Memphis, TN through Teach for America for one year. Since the last time I visited the JMM last year I have moved back to the great state of Maryland and am living in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore. I am an admissions counselor at Washington College.
Elaine Hall, Exhibitions Intern, Summer 2013
This summer I worked on early research for the Jewish Health and Healing project. Now I am about to start my second semester at the UMD College Park working on my Master’s of Public Health with a focus in Behavioral and Community Health. I am also a graduate assistant in the Office of the Dean of the School of Public Health at UMD; helping with administrative and event planning types of activities.
Melina Avery, Baltimore Hebrew University Archives Intern, Summer 2010
Melina in the lab!
I’m living in Chicago, and have a great job as a conservator at the University of Chicago Library. Most of my conservation treatments are on rare books from Special Collections, as well as maps, letters and a variety of other materials. One of my recent favorite projects was an insurance atlas of my neighborhood from 1890. I’m keeping in touch with some other interns from the summer I was at the JMM – I went to Rachael Gilman’s wedding, and Sara Patenaude came to stay with me in Chicago a few months ago!
Also, if anyone is interested in a rather impressionistic but I think visually very pretty representation of one of my projects, some undergrads did a short documentary on my treatment of a 16th century volume: http://vimeo.com/68180343
My mom took this photo of me at my work bench. My work space is in a futuristic glass dome (http://mansueto.lib.uchicago.edu/), as you might be able to tell from the photo. The building is featured as the villains’ HQ in the movie “Divergent” (coming out soon-ish I think) so watch out for that!
Sarah DePaolo, Collections Intern, Summer 2008
I did not stick with museum work but I did continue in outreach and preservation. I am currently in my second semester of my master’s in Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. I am studying pollinators (bees, bats and birds) in developing windfarms throughout southern Wyoming. After graduating from JHU with a degree in History and a minor in Museums and Society I moved to Grand Teton National Park, lived in Moran, WY, then moved down to Rocky Mountain National Park where I was a wildlife technician, working with bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, invasive species, and a boreal toad reintroduction. I then worked for Oregon State University for a year on a wolf study in Alberta, Canada. I will finish my MS in 18 months (God willing) and then will hopefully pursue a PhD so I can teach at a small university or college and share some of the wonderful lessons I learned from my mentors (like you) with the next generation. Also, I’ll be getting married in August 2015!
Jen Pollack, Archives Intern, Summer 2007
Even though it’s been almost 6 years (yikes!), I still remember my summer at the JMM so fondly. I did not stay in the museum field but I feel like I’m still pretty close as I teach high school social studies at a charter school in Philadelphia. I’ve been teaching for 3 years and have taught a variety of classes including: World Civilizations, World Cultures, U.S. History, American Government, Psychology, and Geography. I love teaching and I do feel like my internship led to that. Thanks so much for your support when I was still a student.
Jesse Sullivan, Education and Programs Intern, Spring and Summer 2012
After my internship at the JMM (and largely because of it I think) I got the lucky job of teaching assistant at a study abroad school in Florence, Italy (Studio Art Centers International). I spent the academic year of 2012-13 helping a professor teach art history to college students from across America. My duties there involved going on field trips across Italy and keeping track of the students while we saw, in person, the art that most people just get to see in powerpoints. When that year ended I came back home to America and have been working on a research paper and applying for graduate programs in the field of art history. Until I go to graduate school I’m applying for jobs at museums around Boston (where I live now). Hopefully my time at the JMM will give me an edge and help me continue work in Museums and with art history.
Erin Pruhs, Urban Archaeology Intern, Summer 2013
I am currently in my last semester of classes for my Masters of Science Anthropology/Archaeology degree and Museum Studies Certificate Program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The last class for the Museum Studies Program is designing a four case exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum which will be open from Spring 2014 to Spring 2015. Right now, we are at the beginning stages of trying to nail down a theme.
I am also working on my master’s thesis. I am analyzing ceramics from the Cahokia site (which is part of the Milwaukee Public Museum’s collections). I will be defending sometime next school year.
And on top of that, I am working in the admissions department at the Milwaukee Public Museum while attending school. And also, volunteering at various museums.
Shelby Silvernell, Photo Archives Intern, Spring 2009 and Exhibitions Intern, Summer 2009
Since graduating from MICA with a BFA in photography in 2009, I moved to Chicago and have had a few different jobs in the field starting with a job in the commercial photography studio of an auto accessories manufacturing company. I learned a great deal about this particular niche of the industry, and I had the opportunity to work with some amazing equipment. I had several internships at museums while in school, and I missed non-profits. So, I decided to accept an offer from the Chicago History Museum for a temporary scanning technician position. It was wonderful working with their massive collections, the photography collection in particular. The temporary position lead to another temporary position, and I was eventually promoted to a permanent imaging specialist and photographer position. I was involved in all aspects of imaging for the museum, from marketing and event photography to digitizing 2D and 3D collections materials. I have recently started working as a visual resources digitization assistant in the main library at Northwestern University. I am excited to work in imaging to make research and educational materials more accessible at an institution which has made this work a priority.
And I want to take this opportunity to really thank you, Rachel, and Karen for providing me with internship opportunities at JMM. That experience turned out to be so formative in my current career trajectory. At this point, I can’t really imagine not working at a museum or library, the work is so rewarding. So thanks for giving me a chance to work in the field!
Lauren Woodring, Collections Intern, Summer 2007
After my wonderful internship at the JMM, I earned a degree in history and political science at Lebababon Valley College, and then attended La Salle University to obtain a Master’s in History. While there, I interned and then was hired at The Franklin Institute where I started an extensive collection inventory. I decided that I wanted a degree in Museum Studies and that I wanted to live abroad for a while so I did both by going to St Andrews University in Scotland. As part of this amazing experience, I did an internship in costume storage at the British Golf Museum and completed a student exhibition on the history of chemistry at the university. It was difficult to find a paying museum job so I volunteered at the State Museum of Pennsylvania while simultaneously working for the successful Rob Teplitz for State Senate Campaign. I then moved to Philadelphia to work on a collections move at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was part of a team that successfully moved over 12,000 decorative arts objects to a new storage facility. When the project was over, I began to work in HR at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Currently, I am still at the Kimmel Center and am in the process of transferring to the development department. Even though I am not currently working in a museum, that first internship at the JMM has helped to shape my course of action and working there that summer was one of the best experiences!
Karen Bishop, Urban Archaeology, Summer 2012
I am living in Los Angeles interning at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the objects conservation lab. I have been here since November, the time has flown by. I started out learning to clean and store silver objects. I am currently working on a few different ceramic works, fitting broken pieces back together, filling areas of loss, and inpainting. LACMA also has a large indoor and outdoor sculpture collection that constantly needs cleaning and condition reporting. And since this is LA and no one seems to have any less than two jobs, I am also working as a chef in a farm to table restaurant in my neighborhood. Keeping busy but having fun in the sun!
Carrie Coviello, Collections Summer 2011
After my JMM internship ended, I completed my last semester of graduate school at Syracuse University in museum studies. In my Advanced Curatorship class my fellow classmates and I developed an art exhibition on trains. “Engineered Perspectives,” was shown from December 2011-January 2012 at the SUArt Galleries. I have to say, it was pretty cool to see exhibit labels that I wrote on the gallery walls.
I graduated from SU in December and doggedly started looking for employment in museums. What followed was seven months of cover letters and resumes but very few interviews. Finally, in July of 2012, I landed a part-time job at the Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST) in Syracuse. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but I was appreciative of a job in the museum field. As a Science Exhibit Educator, I am on the museum floor greeting guests, explaining exhibits, and doing short science demonstrations. My favorite is the turtle demonstration where I get to bring out Patsy, the museum’s red-eared slider turtle.
My position at the MOST will end in March, so I am back to searching for a job. I still want to work in the museum field, ideally in collections management. Hopefully, I will find a job in which I can put all the skills that I learned at the JMM to use.
Clare Robbins, Collections Intern, Summer 2013
After my internship last summer, I returned to Lafayette, Louisiana, to finish my Master’s degree in public history. I am set to graduate in May which is incredibly exciting. I had the opportunity to work on a couple of fun projects last semester. First, I created a tour of plantations in southern Louisiana for the smartphone app “Acadiana Historical.” The tour mostly locates plantations that were destroyed, rebuilt, or not otherwise marked. Also, I helped create, design, and install an exhibit on Louisiana women in a 1950s air stream trailer. The trailer travels around to different site throughout the state.
The exhibit interior on opening night. Photo courtesy of http://www.museumonthemove.com/.
Along with my school work, I continued to work at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and interned at the McIlhenny Company Archives (the Tabasco sauce company). At Tabasco, I catalogued and housed photographs from the E.A. McIlhenny Collection. E.A. was the son of Edmund McIlhenny (Tabasco creator) and eventually ran the company in the early 1900s. He was also a conservationist and explorer. E.A. even developed Avery Island’s tourist attractions, Jungle Gardens and Bird City, which are scenic nature reserves on the island. As you can imagine, he was quite a character. One of the most interesting things in his photo collection was the pictures of his pet bear, Tubby. E.A. found this bear on the island and raised it as a pet.
Tubby drinking milk. Photo courtesy of E.A. McIlhenny Collection. McIlhenny Company and Avery Island, Inc. Avery Island, LA.
This semester, I am finishing up my course work and working at the University Art Museum. Also, McIlhenny Company hired me this semester to continue cataloguing various photo collections in the archives. I look forward to graduating and finding a job in the next few months.
Rachael (Gilman) Clark, Photo Archives Intern, Summer 2010
Let’s see, since I interned at JMM:
-I interned in the Conservation Department at Milwaukee Public Museum. My big job was environmental monitoring for Mummies of the World. I also made a custom box for a Peruvian mummy then got to transport it and several Egyptian mummies over to GE headquarters, where they received CT scans. My other big project was related to the de-installation of the China display. I inventoried and condition reported almost everything from the 6 cases.
-I finished grad school. I now have a MA in History, a MLIS (master of library and information science) and a museum studies certificate.
-I got married (but you probably knew that already).
-At the moment, I work at a game store called The Board Game Barrister. I’m the Master of Events and Online Wizardry or MEOW (yep, that’s my actual job title). I coordinate events, work with our volunteers, write newsletters, update the website and our social media plus whatever else my boss asks me to do.
-Alex and I are planning on moving back to Minnesota this summer. Which means I am currently job hunting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. I’m looking for something full-time in a museum, library or archive. Actually, I just applied for a collections tech opening at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
To this day, I still think about all the good times I had at the JMM (and in Baltimore). A lot of my great experiences came from the awesome people I worked with…like you!
A blog post by Intern Wrangler Jobi Zink. To read more posts from Jobi, click here. To read more posts about interns, click here.
Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Rachel
The most exciting part about visiting a museum is getting to view various artifacts within the exhibits, especially if the museum is featuring a new one. I myself had only been on the outside, until this January when I was asked to help break the featured exhibit down here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Forest and Jobi prepare packaging.
The museum currently has an exhibit called “Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War”. But as spring rolls around, so will new artifacts, and the process of packing up the show, in someways is as thrilling as seeing it as a visitor.
To start, there had to be photos taken of every artifact. These photos were then color coded based on their lenders. Lenders were a variation of individuals, museums, and historical societies.
The Color Code List
Once each photo was matched to the lender, I then filed the loan form for each artifact with its picture. What sounds like slow work, was actually informing. I was able to read the descriptions and learn a little more about the artifacts and the Jewish involvement in the Civil War as well.
Following this, Jobi and I determined how the artifacts would be returned to their lenders. We organized and labeled boxes, for packaging, to be sure that everything was returned to it’s original owner. There was a lot of measuring and labeling to do, but I was able to check out artifacts that were not put into the exhibit. This was a really cool advantage.
The last step of course, is to take the actual artifacts down, pack them up, and send them back! This of course will not happen until the exhibit is officially over. So before the final step is taken, be sure to stop by the museum and check out “Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War”, which ends February 27th at 5 pm.
A blog post by Collections Intern Forest Fleisher. To read more posts by interns, click HERE. If you are interested in interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, you can find open internship opportunities HERE.