This post was contributed by Isabella Buzynski, 2022 Summer Scholars intern with the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library. Isabella is currently attending the University of Michigan School of Information for the Master of Science in Information program.
This summer, I had the great pleasure of interning under the mentorship of Alexandra Reigle at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library. I have continued an ongoing project to process and integrate the Art Students League of New York papers into the library’s existing Art and Artist File collection, comprising over 150,000 files of ephemeral materials on art, artists, art institutions, collectors, and special subjects. Day-to-day, this consists of pulling batches of Artist Files, deciding what items should be added to each, removing dozens of staples, stamping the items, making a mess, and then putting them all back on the shelf for researchers to consult. I have learned first-hand how the decisions that archivists and librarians make shape the historical record and have gained an expedited education in American art through the exhibition materials, news articles, and letters that I encounter. I also encountered some incredible stories, including that of Atlanta C. Sampson’s ninety-year career as an artist.