A Walk Around Collections

Posted on June 20th, 2013 by

Kathleen MorrisonA 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.

Kathleen photoIncluded is a photo of my favorite object, a bottle of camphor oil that has settled and begun to separate.

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The Bone Test!

Posted on June 19th, 2013 by

Erin PruhsA blog post by collections intern Erin Pruh. Erin is working with the Lloyd Street Synagogue archaeological collections this summer with Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.

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This is a weird artifact that appeared while taking pictures of the Lloyd Street Synagogue archaeological excavation materials. most of the objects have been parts of bricks, glass or rusted nails, but this appears to be a bead.

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The bead looked like it was made of bone, but I wanted to be sure, so I tested it.

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One way to test, which there is a pretend picture of, is putting the end of the bone to your tongue – if it sticks, it’s bone. (No objects were actually licked in the making of this photoset.)

Another way, which is the way that was done, is putting it in water.  If it floats, it's wood - if it sinks, it's bone.

Another way, which is the way that was done, is putting it in water. If it floats, it’s wood – if it sinks, it’s bone.

It is, in fact, bone!

It is, in fact, bone!

ETA:  In response to some comments over on our facebook page: “I did more research when i got home – I had very little time to actually look into it before it was posted. had a friend of mine who is a bioanth look at pics and she says it’s not bone. It’s really hard to tell. It doesn’t look like any kind of ceramic that i have seen. i specialize in late prehistoric ceramics (grit and shell tempers). I was debating about it being clay – but considered it. The records don’t give any information and previous interns considered it possibly bone. Another option, which I am really skeptical about, is it being made from horn. I appreciate the input and will definitely look more into it. A pipe stem would fit the context. There are some records where past interns noted objects that would be from prehistoric context, such as a stone tool, which is missing…but there are no records that indicate that there was any prehistoric activity in this area. thanks for letting me know what it is!” -Erin

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Spotlight on Collections

Posted on December 27th, 2012 by

This month?s Spotlight on Collections falls on hats.? The JMM has an extensive hat collection that includes: men?s hats, women?s hats, religious hats, kippa, ceremonial hats, military hats, political hats ? fancy, practical, unique, and mass produced.? You name it we?ve got it.? Some of the hats are in our collection because of the people who wore them and the part the hats played in the story of their lives, some of the hats are in our collection because they were produced by or for Jewish companies in Maryland.? This is only a small slice of our collection.? Enjoy.

Hat worn by Celia Josephson Naiman, c. 1940s/1950s. Courtesy of Lillian Naiman. 1985.131.6a

This hat belonged to Samuel Sakols and was purchased at Katz, a leading Baltimore clothier for men. The hat and the fancy clothes that go with it (also part of the JMM collection) were worn to High Holidays and Sabbath at Eden Street Shule, where Samuel was president. Courtesy of Blanche Sakols Schimmel. 1987.39.4

c. 1930's Brown felt cloche-style hat. Courtesy of Sophie Dopkin. 1987.124.4

1950s velour hat with veil with label that reads ?Schoen-Russell, Inc. Baltimore.? Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Gerson Eisenberg. 1987.126.15.

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White Styrofoam boater-style hat used by the donor as a delegate at the UAHC convention in Baltimore, 1991. Courtesy of E.B. and Allan T. Hirsch, Jr. 1992.190.1.

Army cap worn by Morris Lieberman. Courtesy of Joan B. Woldman. 1995.26.2.

Rabbinical hat. Courtesy of Efrem M. Potts. 1995.192.6.

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Hat from World War II WAC uniform. Courtesy of Shirley Rosenberg. 2008.20.1c.

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Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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