Category Archives: Archives

Contests of will between “task master” director Gordon and his artist M.L. Baker

M. Louise Baker painting the "Luna" Vase (Chama, Maya), Guatemala City, 1931. Museum image #176327

University Museum artist (1908-1936) M. Louise Baker, acclaimed for her archaeological illustration of Mayan pottery and Nubian and Ur excavation finds, considered Museum Director Dr. George Byron Gordon to be “a hard task master but a good boss, appreciative and withal, most likable.” However, Gordon had a well-deserved reputation for being tight with money, except […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Happy Turkey Day!

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Happy Turkey Day! … What, you expected an actual turkey? This week’s photo is a view of Istanbul (then Constantinople) and the Galata Bridge. The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway that separates Europe and Asia. The Galata Bridge is now in it’s fifth build, with this photograph showing the […]

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Ur Digitization Project: November 2013

Father Legrain working on cuneiform tablets at the Ur Dighouse

Father Legrain’s Records Spotlight on travel sketches Trip back from Ur, 1925 In both the 1924-25 and the 1925-26 seasons, Father León Legrain was the epigrapher at Ur–the person whose expertise was in cuneiform script and whose duty it was to investigate the clay tablets as they were found. Father Legrain was curator of the […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Remembering John F. Kennedy

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As the nation remembers John F. Kennedy today on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination, the Penn Museum Archives looks back to an exhibition of the late president’s library. From June 9 to 12, 1964, the Penn Museum hosted a collection of JFK’s doodles, writings, papers, furniture (including his famous rocking chair), photographs, and other […]

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It Was All Quite Different: the Friendship of Lisa Lyons and Vicki Baum

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“Dear Elisabeth, If you had known what a nuisance I’m turning out to be you wouldn’t have started this correspondence, or would you, in spite of it all?” (4/10/1958) The Penn Museum archives received Vicki Baum’s letters at long last and quite by chance. When Lisa Lyons died, she left her records to the Museum, […]

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To Hold in the Heart & Live from the Archives!

kintner laos f16-0126 still frame

A filmmaker documents her mother’s flight from Laos, archival film from Museum collections help to tell the story.

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A New Narrative for the Glass Lantern Slide

"Hindu Lady" leans against a table in a house with a bouquet of flowers by her side. This is one of the many glass lantern slides in the Penn Museum archives collection. (Museum Image No. 215377)

Although I have only been working in the Penn Museum Archives for a couple months, I have become completely enveloped with the aura of historical narrative in the photos and documents we work so hard to preserve. Over time, however, there are many objects that become obsolete in the presentation of this narrative. The glass […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Fun Find

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Every so often, you stumble across an oddity in the archives. This week, I found something that piqued my interest. A researcher was visiting the archives, looking through records from Erich Schmidt’s expedition to Persepolis, Iran. Part of this particular collection is a set of photo albums containing prints that Schmidt had collected  during his […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Halloween

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Halloween was yesterday and the Penn Museum Archives wanted to leave you with one last treat for the holiday. One of the spookiest images in our collection, this photo is of a cow’s skull mounted on a stick to act as a scarecrow in Damghan, Iran. Damghan is near the site Tepe Hissar, where the […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Baseball

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With baseball’s World Series starting this week, it’s fitting to pay tribute to the Fall Classic with the Photo of the Week. Featured in this image is a baseball team from an indemnity school, most likely Tsinghua College in Peking, China. Tsinghua College (now Tsinghua University) was created as a preparatory school as part of the Boxer […]

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