Saturday, February 23, 2008

Introduction to one of our collections

Hi. I'm Kathleen Stocker, an assistant archivist at the museum. I've been there about 2 1/2 years, fresh out of graduate school and my first foray into the archives world. I love my job.

I was hired to begin processing images for a massive digitization project. The first collection I worked on is known as MAMAS (Museum and Medical Arts Services). MAMAS photographers were sent out by the Medical Museum during WW2 to document medical and surgical cases and, when things got slow, they shot a lot of other things like scenery and calmer activities. Of the hundreds of thousands of images we've digitized in the last couple of years, here is my favorite:

D45-416-34G (MAMAS)

This is the only information we have about this picture: "C-46 air evacuation from Manila, Philippine Islands."

I think the photo's a classic. It portrays such a feeling of calm and control. The soldiers are obviously all wounded, but they're in safe hands now, maybe on their way home. Mundane activities occupy the sergeant at the desk. And the nurse looks like a 1940s movie star, with just enough light on her face to make her the real subject of this photo, an elegant emblem of caring and competence.

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