To kick off Black History Month, here is a cabinet card that has fascinated me ever since I stumbled across it in our Portrait File.
Titled "Little Ethiopians," it's a composite of 21 portraits of African-American babies. The cabinet card was issued by Smith's Studio of Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and bears an 1881 copyright date. I initially thought that the photographer, Joshua Smith, might have been an African-American, but further investigation proved this guess wrong.
This post was written by Janet Lee, Conservation Assistant
Parchment is a kind of processed animal skin that has been used for centuries as a writing surface. Considered strong and stable, parchments have traditionally been used for important documents.
These parchments are late 18th century colonial land grants from the Banyar manuscript collection. Like most parchments in the collection, they come to the lab folded into tight bundles, which makes storing them easy but access to them...Read More
Above-average temperatures at other times of year may raise alarms of global warming, but autumn heat waves are still fondly referred to as "Indian summer." So where does the term come from, and what exactly does it mean?
A number of explanations have been advanced over the years, including the following:
1. In 1804, Charles Brockden Brown (an early American novelist), suggested that "[i]ts American name it probably owes to it being predicted by the natives to...Read More
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