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Archives from the MHM Collection
19, October 2016

3 Reasons to Love the Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries

One question I’m frequently asked when people find out I’m an archivist (besides “What’s an archivist?”) is: Which collection is your favorite? For me, that’s easy. I loved digitizing and transcribing the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries. Read more »

12, October 2016

An Archival Challenge: The Lewis and Clark Journals

As I’ve mentioned in earlier Archives Month posts, researchers who come to the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center can use and handle most of the documents in the archives. However, in some cases the archivists have to decline access in order to preserve the documents for the next hundred years. One such case is our collection of five original journals from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Read more »

10, October 2016

McKenney and Hall: Preserving Native Portraits for Posterity

History of the Indian Tribes of North America was first published as a three-volume folio set between 1838 and 1844. It's based on paintings that Thomas McKenney, superintendent of Indian trade for the U.S. War Department, had commissioned of leaders and others who came to Washington, DC. To reach a wider audience, McKenney decided to have lithographs made of the paintings and asked James Hall to write the biographies of the people portrayed. Read more »

6, October 2016

The Finest Dining at the Fair

Imagine you’ve been seated in a grand dining hall decorated like a Bavarian palace. As you peruse the nearly 200-item menu, you relax to the sounds of a 100-piece orchestra, nearly forgetting you’re one of 3,000 souls about to embark on a culinary journey through Germany and beyond. Read more »

5, October 2016

From Lincoln's Pen to Your Hands

I started at the Missouri History Museum as an intern in 1997, right after graduating from college with a degree in history. My first task was to help Dennis Northcott, one of the archivists, compile a guide to the Civil War manuscripts in the Archives. Previously I had viewed the 19th century as boring, but the more I read the letters and diaries of soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the more my perspective changed. Read more »

3, October 2016

What's an Archivist Anyway?

Over the years, I’ve gotten a wide range of reactions when I tell people I’m an archivist. One lady told me not to say that too loudly. To this day I don’t know why she responded that way, but I suspect she misunderstood me and thought I’d said I was an anarchist. Read more »

11, August 2016

Miss Nettie's Notebooks and the MHS Story

The Missouri Historical Society officially turns 150 years old today. That’s a remarkable milestone to reach, and it begs the question “How does a museum thrive for 150 years?” It must have a solid collection and tell compelling stories, certainly, but it must also have a long line of dedicated staff who both preserve the past and push the institution forward. Few of us here now will leave the mark on the Society that a woman named Nettie Beauregard did. Read more »

26, July 2016

Library Preservation Meets Fate

This is a library-preservation story. Really, it is. I promise. It’s also the chance to show off a really cool cover of an issue of Fate Magazine: True Stories of the Strange and the Unknown, a magazine first published in Evanston, Illinois, in 1948. Read more »

20, July 2016

St. Louis's Compliments to Sherman

If you’ve ever attended a formal dinner in a grand location for the express purpose of paying homage to the featured guest, you’ve attended the modern equivalent of a mid-19th-century complimentary dinner—but probably with fewer speeches to sit through. Read more »

3, June 2016

More Than Just Black Paper

Although the focus of Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night is on the dresses and the way the color black has evolved in women’s fashion over the years, the exhibit also highlights Victorian-era expressions of grief that went beyond clothing, such as mourning stationery. Read more »