Archives v 11.138563

This afternoon I spent 2 hours in a Zoom meeting with my contact at the Getty. This gal is lovely, and it’s amazing to get to know someone that knows, or knows of, many of my mom’s professional colleagues. She comes from an academic perspective re all these people, where as I come from a child’s view of them. I’m talking garden parties, camping trips, and playing on studio floors while the guys played cards… I’ve enjoyed her stories, as she has mine.

We got through a lot of the material, and I was able to edit (haha) what was left in order to make our next meeting as efficient as possible. While the experience was good, it left me kinda down in the dumps about how much the Getty didn’t want. I also get why… My contact has helped me understand a tremendous amount about what makes something valuable, or not, to a museum like the Getty:

  • No copies of papers (news, published or otherwise) The original exists and copies are only valuable to the person who saved the copy.
  • No “off prints” or reprints. Theses are bound excepts from books or other publications. My mom had easily over 100 of these that had belonged to her boss (one of the authors of her career capping editorial project, hereafter known as the ‘big book.’), and a few dozen of her own. Some went back to the 50’s. My Getty contact gave me emotional permission to recycle these. The original publications exist, somewhere.
  • No posters, announcements, invitations, new releases, reviews etc, about the big book. The Getty either has them or… They exist somewhere.
  • Nothing regarding my mother’s book about the writing of the big book. I will contact a specific library at the university she worked for to see if they would like this section of the archive. The Getty is only interested in enhancing what they have regarding the two authors of the big book. I understand (and am glad to bolster their collection), but am left with yet another task of finding a home for scholarly works. I am understanding more and more the chagrin with which one of the authors daughter’s, of the big book, told me it took her 20-years to get through her father’s works 😏.
  • Some photographs/negatives of either authors work is being accepted, about half of which were taken by my father
  • All original drawings, of which there are quite a number, will join the archive.
  • Lectures are desired.
  • Certain correspondence will join the archive, but none about grant funding, or the battle that took place between the authors and the managing director of the press that was responsible for publishing the book. I’ve decided to let go of this lengthy bit of back and forth. The book was published, and all involved parties are gone. The arguments can be let go of.

This leaves me with far more of my mom’s archives than I expected. I also have a much clearer view as to what’s OK to let go of. I’m adding the artistic items (galley proofs, all the invitations, posters, photos and negatives the museum doesn’t want, book end-papers, and SO much more), to my art materials. Mom’s book archives, including the huge number of reviews, and correspondence I’ll keep, of course. I’m not able to charge forward, just now, to see who might want her book archive. The current goal is to get what’s staying here in logical order (I had to tell my Getty Gal more than once, “Yeah, mom’s filing skills weren’t the best…”), labeled, and put away. We joked this afternoon that I could open an Etsy shop re ephemera surrounding the big book.

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