Archives and Archaeology (Featuring an Assistant Curator of Archaeology!)

Archives and Archaeology (Featuring an Assistant Curator of Archaeology!)


Archives and Archaeology (Featuring an Assistant Curator of Archaeology!)

If you haven’t heard yet, October is Archives Month. As part of our celebration here on the History Blog, I’ve been checking in with other archivists and curators at the Ohio History Connection to hear all about their work. Today I talked to Juli, an archaeologist who also spends some time in our Archives/Library.

This conversation is particularly special, because it’s also Archaeology Month!

1.Would you like to introduce yourself? What do you do at the Ohio History Connection?
My name is Juli Six; I am an Assistant Curator of Archaeology. I am responsible for the museum’s extensive human remains collection and I also work as a Reference Archivist in the Archives Library on a weekly basis.

2. As an archaeologist, how often do you find yourself consulting the archives? Are there any records that are particularly helpful?
Frequently. The Ohio History Connection was founded in 1889 as the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society. Certain records from early acquisitions are in the Archives. Yearly reports of field work and other museum business were published beginning in 1887 and are easily accessible in our library.

museum.jpgDisplay of artifacts from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society in Page Hall on the campus of the Ohio State University, 1907.

3.What is your favorite collection at the Ohio History Connection Archives/Library?
I enjoy the Thompson Family Photograph Albums (AV 79). The albums contain over 900 photographs taken during family trips by bus, train, and car beginning after the Great War (World War I). The photos feature street scenes in towns all over Ohio and other states. They even photographed the day the circus paraded through Dayton in May, 1921.

Camels pause during the parade.

4.How do archaeologists keep records in the digital age? How do you save these records?
As you may know, archaeology is a destructive science. All context, or provenience, must be documented as we dig or it will be lost forever. For this reason, records are very important in archaeology and should be duplicated digitally if possible. Notes taken in the field are used to produce typed reports then entered into databases. It’s essential that this information is shared with other archaeologists to add to the greater archaeological record.

5.What is your favorite archaeology collection at the Ohio History Connection?
The case of animal effigy pipes excavated from Tremper Mound is my favorite place in the Ohio History Center museum. Each one is unique, masterfully hand carved from stone around 2,000 years ago. The pipes are carved into the shapes of animals such as mountains lions, snakes, raccoons, and owls.

6. Where is your favorite place to work in the field?
Anywhere that’s in the shade. I like to mix it up and learn as much as I can. Working on varying projects makes my job challenging but I have a lot of fun.

Happy Archives Month to all of our blog readers, and a special thank you to Juli for making this blog post possible! Remember to check out all of our other great Archives Month features on the History Blog!

Posted October 27, 2017

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