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Smithsonian Gardens: Archives of American Gardens/ Garden History & Design. Bella Wenum University of South Carolina Summer 2013. Ba c kgr o und. I’m from Columbia, South Carolina B.A . in History, Geography minor, University of South Carolina, May 2009

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Smithsonian Gardens: Archives of American Gardens/ Garden History & Design

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Smithsonian Gardens:Archives of American Gardens/Garden History & Design

Bella Wenum

University of South Carolina

Summer 2013


  • I’m from Columbia, South Carolina

  • B.A. in History, Geography minor, University of South Carolina, May 2009

  • MLIS, University of South Carolina, August 2013

    • Concentration: Archives and Information Science

So… what have I been doing all summer?

CatalogingArchivists’ Toolkit TrainingProcessingSI Staff PicnicBloggingInventoryGardens of the Mall TourMetadata

Public Tagging InitiativeSocial MediaResearchFinding AidsDigitization35MM SlidesDAMSDigital PreservationData Content Standards


  • Workflow:

    -Create garden description from submission material

    -Cataloging worksheet: 5 images, subject terms

  • Horizon

    -Create series (garden) level record, item level records

  • Opportunity to become familiar with data content standards

    -DACS, AACR2, LC Authority Terms, LCSH, AAT (Getty)

Processing collections, finding aids

  • McComb Collection: 230 35mm slides

  • Jane Simpson Series: GCA Collection

    • Inventory

      -Created box lists to preserve original order of collection

    • Created a finding aid for the McComb Collection

    • Opportunity to learn DACS

    • Culling

Archivists’ Toolkit

  • Open source database for managing archival collections

  • Two workshops with SI EAD Coordinator

    -Archivists’ Toolkit Refresher

    -Using Steady with Archivists’ Toolkit

  • Favretti Finding Aid & McComb Finding Aid

    -Enter collection and accession data

Public Tagging Initiative

  • Manage “Tag-It-Tuesday” activity on Facebook and Twitter

  • Users describe images exactly the way they would search for them, which increases the discovery of collections

Blogs and Minutes

  • One Minute Reports for Garden History and Design Committee

    -Short articles that are included in the GCA bulletin.

    -Topics: Mazes and Labyrinths, Night Gardens

  • SIRIS Blog posts

    -I contributed three posts to the SIRIS blog

    -Topics: Thomas D. Church, Night Gardens, Community Gardens

Adventure Time!

Hillwood EstateThe Holocaust Memorial MuseumJefferson MemorialLincoln MemorialFord’s TheatreArlington National CemeteryDiscovery Space ShuttleNASMNMAHNMNH

HirshhornLibrary of CongressThe CapitolFireworks on the MallMadame Tussaud’sJazz in the Sculpture GardenNational CathedralNational ArchivesUS Botanic GardenWatergate ComplexUnion Station

What I take away from this experience…

  • Gained valuable skills and experiences I lacked that will enable me to confidently continue pursuing a career in archives and special collections

    • Handling archival material, processing collections, digital preservation

  • Got to live in DC for a summer!

Thank you for a great summer!

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