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Tag: National Museum of African American History and Culture

Archives and the Persistence of Living Memory

Intern Patrice Green, outside of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Patrice Green is a Smithsonian Minority Awards Intern with Smithsonian  Libraries at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is currently pursuing a dual master’s in Public History and Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where her focus is Archives and Preservation Management.

As a public history and library/information science student at the University of South Carolina, I often find myself confronting living memory. In the archives profession, it becomes even more apparent, especially when cultivating relationships with donors, friends, and other supporters of an information or cultural institution. This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern as a Minority Awards Scholar with Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), funded generously by the Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) and supervised by archivist Ja-Zette Marshburn. In these ten weeks, I have learned a tremendous amount about the profession of archives, libraries, and museums. I gained experience in everything from data entry and object handling to consulting and appraisal. I discovered the depth of the collections at the Smithsonian, as well as how far the subject matter spreads. I learned exactly how important it was to separate archival collections from curatorial ones. Perhaps most importantly, I was reminded that the profession is all about stories and those who work to preserve them.

America’s First Known African American Scientist and Mathematician

At the beginning of February, Black History Month, the former slave Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was much in the news. The most prominent African American of the 19th century, he first moved to Washington, D.C. in the early 1870s after his home in Rochester, New York burned down. Here he published his newspaper, The New National Era. From 1877 until his death in 1895, Douglass lived and worked in a stately Victorian house, called Cedar Hill, overlooking the Anacostia River. The property is in the D.C. Southeast quadrant and has been maintained since 1988 as a National Historic Site by the National Park Service.

Joe Froggers: The Weight of the Past in a Cookie

Interested in culinary history and books? Join us on Wednesday, November 16th for our Annual Adopt-a-Book Evening, featuring a food and drink theme!

Slavery and freedom, the Revolutionary War, New England’s maritime culture and life, Colonial revivalism, trade, women’s role in the economy, the development of regional cuisines, the not-fully-explored history of African Americans in the North. More than just molasses, spices and rum, there is a heady mix of history in the Joe Frogger. Can all these ingredients of America’s past be found in a cookie?

Celebrating African American History and Culture

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Portrait of Josiah Henson from Father Henson’s story of his own life.

In celebration of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this weekend, we’ve put together a special digital collection of titles related to the African American experience.  Many of these books come from our National Museum of African American History and Culture Library, which will open in the museum later this year.  Below are a few highlights from the collection. To see the entire collection, visit Celebrating African American History and Culture in our Digital Library.