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Archives from the MHM Collection
13, February 2015

Uncovering an Unsung Hero: Mary Taussig Hall

In today’s world of empowered women and increased focus on gender equality, we are not shocked by stories of fearless women dedicated to making lasting change in their communities. But looking through the archives of the Library and Research Center of the Missouri History Museum, I came across the story of a woman out of place for her context in history. Read more »

26, January 2015

I'll Miss You, Star Clipper


Why would a librarian at a historical society write a tribute to Star Clipper, a comics store in the Delmar Loop?

I’m responsible for developing the Missouri Historical Society’s collection of printed and published items. Primarily, we collect works about St. Louis. To help tell the story of our city and region, we also collect some works published in St. Louis or written by St. Louisans. Our library collections are available for research at our Library and Research Center on Skinker. Potentially, they are also available for exhibition or other museum activities. Read more »

24, January 2015

Searching the Library and Research Center: Missouri Mystery, Magick, and Poetry

During my first year as a graduate assistant at the Missouri History Museum, I was conducting research in the Library and Research Center when I came across a book in the card catalog titled The Water Witch. Being a lover of all things magical, I was intrigued and requested the book from the stacks. While it wasn’t a long-lost tome of ancient magick, I nevertheless found myself enchanted. It turned out to be an absolutely delightful book of Missouri poetry that was published in 1924. Read more »

29, July 2014

Man of Letters, Man of Missouri: A Look at the Life of Friedrich Muench

Walking into the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center on the first day of my internship, I gazed in awe at the beautiful building. I was led into the magnificent Reading Room where, amid the book-lined shelves and under a golden dome, I learned of my project for the summer: process the archives of Friedrich Muench. I had never heard of this man and knew nothing about him besides the fact that he was German. Read more »

7, March 2014

Russell Froelich: Behind the Lens

The photo at left is of Russell Froelich, a photographer who worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and the St. Louis Star in the first half of the twentieth century. At first glance, I thought this image was an old-time version of a selfie. More likely it was not taken in front of a mirror but rather by another photographer. Read more »

24, February 2014

Otto Widmann: Missouri’s Pre-eminent Birder

When Otto Widmann was 33 years old, a chance encounter with a backyard visitor rekindled a passion for nature that had been pushed aside by the realities of tending to his business and making a living. The German-born drugstore owner and his wife, Augusta, observed a Baltimore (northern) oriole singing outside their St. Louis home in 1873. Widmann later wrote, “It came to a peach tree in my garden, when his strong whistle called my attention to him.... Read more »

12, February 2014

The Great Squirrel Invasion of 1839

Large pest infestations were not uncommon in the early years of Missouri agriculture. Swarms of hungry Rocky Mountain locusts swept western Missouri during several summers in the 1870s. Nineteenth-century sources also tell of large infestations of eastern tent caterpillars that plundered orchards and weakened valuable trees. But even the most-experienced farmers were shocked by the great furry hoards that invaded central Missouri in 1839. Read more »

31, January 2014

Enjoying a Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

Every month the Missouri History Museum accepts new items into its collection to ensure the survival of material culture for the future. I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Museum’s list of recent acquisitions, a fascinating look into the treasure trove that is the Museum’s storage space. One item that caught my eye was the collection of artifacts from the Freund Baking Company, donated by Michael H. Freund. Read more »

20, November 2013

Blending History

The Missouri History Museum has an iPhone App called Historic St. Louis, which contains almost 300 historic photographs of street scenes and buildings in St. Louis paired with a GPS map of their locations. When the user looks through a phone’s camera lens while at the location, the historic picture comes into view on the phone’s screen. In essence, the app allows you to create your own “then-and-now” photographs while walking through the city. Like many people, I’ve always enjoyed looking at then-and-now photos, but by far my favorite feature of the app is the slider. Read more »

29, August 2013

Museum Library Featured in Show on Genealogy

In a recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, actor Chris O’Donnell visited the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center to see documents relating to his great-great-grandfather, Michael McEnnis. If you missed it, the full episode can be viewed for a limited time on the Learning Channel (TLC) website. Read more »