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's Archive for April, 2009

Dialectical Images: Disseminating Collection Information Across the Digital Jungle

Our online project, the Jewish Digital Narratives is about collection dissemination through an alignment of narrative theory, curatorial practice, and technology. Last week, I participated in an exciting design charrette (a fancy way used by the faculty of University of California at Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology & Society to say that they squeeze [...]

Journey West: Johanna Mayer Hirschfelder writes about her trip from New York to San Francisco in 1856

Today I was researching letters in the Magnes holdings that Jewish immigrants to the American West sent to their families back home (in Europe or elsewhere). There are some wonderful examples of such letters in our collections. I particularly like one sent by Johanna Mayer Hirschfelder to her family back in Europe in 1856. In [...]

Edward Bransten: Tea Taster

I have been processing the papers of the Haas-Bransten family, members of the San Francisco Jewish “aristocracy,” and was struck by this clipping from one of the scrapbooks: Now, Edward Bransten Sr. was an extraordinary man. He was born in San Francisco in 1870 to Joseph and Jane Brandenstein (the name change to Bransten came [...]

For the love of billheads…

A confession: I love billheads. You know the old receipts companies used to use between, say, the 1860s and the 1930s or 1940s. Some of them are so lovely with their illustrations and engravings. I especially admire illustrations of old company buildings, but illustrations of products can also be quite wonderful. We have a range [...]