Category Archives: Archives

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!

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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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Archives Photo of the Week: Mummy Bundles

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This week’s photo of the week comes from Pachacamac in Peru. The Penn Museum excavations at Pachacamac were led by Max Uhle, a German philologist and archaeologist who was continuing the work that he had undertaken for the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. Uhle’s explorations of South America lasted from 1895 to 1897. Featured in the image are […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Sphinx

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You may have to squint, but this week’s archives photo of the week is still important. This image is the only known photograph of the Penn Museum’s Sphinx en route to Cairo for shipping to Philadelphia. The photo was sent by Flinders Petrie to then museum director George Byron Gordon. The 15-ton statue of Ramesses II […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Bhutia Girl

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This week’s photo features an image collected by William Furness, III., Alfred C. Harrison, Jr., and Hiram M. Hiller. Between 1895 and 1901, the three men traveled across Oceania and Asia, collecting substantial amounts of ethnological, archaeological, and skeletal materials. Included in their collecting were many photographic materials, including this week’s photo of the week. This […]

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