We have just joined The Commons on Flickr to share a selection of images with the Flickr community and to begin our partnership, it seemed appropriate that we start at the beginning! William Henry Goodyear was the Museum’s first Curator of Fine Arts. As an architectural historian (he is known for his book entitled The Grammar of the Lotus), he documented his travels. Goodyear collected lantern slides to illustrate his slide lectures which he presented here at the Museum and during his travels around the world. What you see in The Commons today are selections of images documenting Egypt as it appeared around Goodyear’s time as well as what he saw when he visited the Paris Exposition in 1900.
While the Brooklyn Museum staff is the primary user of our Libraries and Archives, we are open to the public and are always looking to reach out to a wide and varied audience. One of the challenges is ensuring everyone knows which resources we have available and listening to the needs of our visitors, so we know what to provide and how best to present these materials. One of the more interesting results of “growing” an encyclopedic collection is that we have research collections that serve as an intellectual link to the objects and perhaps act as storytellers revealing the cultural context of the objects. Think about the possible stories behind these photographs and then tag the images with the story you see. Take a look at these photographs and tell us how you would like to use them. What other materials would you like to see?
We believe that by sharing these images we will support a better understanding of the cultures that have created the great art that is held by this Museum. We hope you will agree.
Deirdre Lawrence has been the Principal Librarian at the Brooklyn Museum since late 1983. Before coming to the Brooklyn Museum, she was Associate Librarian at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She received her M. L. S. from Pratt Institute in 1979 and has studied art history on the graduate level. At the Brooklyn Museum she has established the Museum Archives and implemented many projects to preserve and make accessible the research collections. Deirdre has overseen a major renovation project, implementation of an online catalog and several collaborative projects with other libraries. She has written articles on the collections and lectured frequently on the research collections held in the Libraries and Archives as well as Brooklyn Museum history. Deirdre has curated several exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum and elsewhere. She is a visiting professor at Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science and serves as a board member at the Center for Book Arts in New York.