Specimens in the lower drawer of Vermont Marble Collection
This summer, I worked for the Walker Zanger Stone Collection, Vermont Marble Collection, and Rowhouse Symposium at the Center for Architectural Conservation and the Architectural Archives. For the Vermont Marble Collection, I followed the previous working instructions, kept the marble specimens in the lower drawers inventoried, and published them in the JSTOR online database. The Walker Zanger Collection is a relatively new stone collection that is considered the continuation and amendment of the Vermont Marble Collection. For the Rowhouse Symposium, I worked on a mapping project of over one hundred rowhouses in Philadelphia, which is a visual analysis based on historical drawings in five different plan types.
The Vermont Marble Sample collection features approximately 3,930 specimens of marbles, travertines, and granite. About 800 of these are stored in a large cabinet and organized by stone type and color. The remaining are stored in drawers, vary in size, and are organized by region. A paper label attached to the sample provides detailed information on the individual specimen. Every specimen is labeled with a unique ID and connected with an individual record with photographs on the JSTOR. I have been working on the lower drawers of the collection, labeling the specimens, inventorying in the spreadsheet, and uploading the metadata to the JSTOR. The stone samples are physically and digitally archived, but the JSTOR database is not entirely searchable for public users. When we started working on the Walker Zanger Collection, we aimed to produce a searchable collection database, allowing students and visiting researchers to consult individual specimens and different types of stone.
I worked with José Hernandez and John Hinchman for the Zanger Stone collection. We cleaned and primarily analyzed the original spreadsheet data which Jonathan Zanger provided. We also constructed a photograph station to test and designed a simple user experience template. I had an opportunity to look at the first-hand documents of different stones with all types and textures, which is a practical extension of the knowledge I learned in HSPV 555 Conservation Science. I practiced my skill in spreadsheet models and data analysis. In the meantime, I learned how to think of an archive-based data set and the significance of making it public. The discussion of the two stone collections inspires me to think critically about the traditional digital archives.
I had the opportunity to meet professor Paul Hirshorn and get to know the history of the rowhouse in Philadelphia. The mapping project gave me a great opportunity to use the GIS skill I learned in the Digital Media course. It also provides an excellent overview of the rowhouse typology distribution. This map will be exhibited with over 90 sets of rowhouse building drawings, which will be represented as an index or key map for the exhibition.