Category Archives: Fun!

Fanny’s Reincarnation

“Fanny, my dear, I must admit that your appearance is altered.”

The work in the Penn Museum Archives never ends. The backlog resists attempts at taming it. The Archives is happy to have a number of interns and volunteers who are willing to help organize, catalog, and preserve the documents, drawings, and photographs in the collections. Alyssa Velazquez is one such intern, who is presently reorganizing […]

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The Dying Art of the Letterhead

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The Penn Museum Archives has prepared a new public exhibition, of special interest to enthusiasts of graphic art and design. “To Whom It May Concern: Letterhead from the Penn Museum Archives” presents an array of letterhead from its collections, dating mostly from the 1890s through the 1940s, when letterhead design was particularly expressive and ornate, […]

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One Woman’s Efforts to Celebrate Women’s History

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Robyn Young, who visited Senior Archivist Alex Pezzati and me at the Museum in mid-June, is on a singular mission: to bring the stories and accomplishments of Pennsylvania’s women into the broader conversation of Pennsylvania history. A few years ago, when she did an informal review of the approximately 1,600 official historical markers throughout the […]

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Eskimo Soccer

Eskimo girl with soccer ball.  Point Barrow, Alaska.  Photograph by E. A. McIlhenny, 1897-1898.

In conjunction with the 2015 Copa America, and especially the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the Penn Museum offers this photograph to the soccer world. Last year, I found this photo of soccer amongst the Eskimo of Point Barrow, Alaska, taken by ornithologist and Tabasco sauce heir, Edward Avery McIlhenny in 1897-1898. That photograph shows a […]

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Get to know Dr. Elin Danien: 2015 Volunteer of the Year

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At this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon I was lucky enough to present the award for Volunteer of the Year to Dr. Elin Danien. It’s always hard to choose just one volunteer to specially highlight, but Elin has always been a standout. In her 40 years of working and volunteering at the Penn Museum she has […]

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Anthropology Puzzles from the Archives

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Recently I tumbled down the rabbit hole of the Penn Museum Archives with Senior Archivist, Alex Pezzati.  What started as a search for sketches of the Tiffany mosaics on our building, spiraled into Alex pulling out dozens of other collections of images, sketches, documents, and books for me to look through.  Every manilla folder we opened provided an opportunity for […]

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From Lawyer to Gladiator: John J. Ebel and his Gladiator School

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“Suiting up” means two things for John J. Ebel. As both a trial attorney in New York and co-founder of the Ludus Magnus Gladiatores Reenacting Group, Ebel is no stranger to battle. In preparation for the Penn Museum’s celebration of Rome’s Birthday April 18, at which gladiators from Ludus Magnus will vie to “win the […]

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Is Elvis in the building?

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In honor of the important national holiday today we highlight an ancient artifact [reel to reel tape!] from our audio-visual collections… “Plot synopsis: Archaeologists in the year 7956 explore the abandoned ruins of the long-dead civilization of North America, and attempt to decipher the meanings of its strange artifacts. Based on a short story, [by […]

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Happy 159th Birthday Max Uhle (1856-1944): Father of Peruvian Archaeology

Border Textile, Andean, Peru. Museum Object Number: 29684

“In Americanist studies the first thing that had to be done was to introduce the idea of time, to get people to admit that the types could change over time.” -Max Uhle, May 15, 1923 Today, March 25th 2015, marks the 159th birthday of the German archaeologist, Max Uhle, who excavated in Peru for the […]

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Collections Madness!

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Calling all lovers of objects from ancient to modern world history! Introducing the Penn Museum Object Bracket Challenge For the month of March the Penn Museum is now the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology AND BRACKETOLOGY! We’re asking you, the public, to vote for your favorite objects in our first ever Object […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum