Talks

Art in Context | The Nadia Sophie Seiler Residency and Item-Level Description in the Archives

Free admission

Emily Crow, 2023–24 Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Resident at the Yale Center for British Art 

About this program

In this talk, Emily Crow will discuss her experiences as the 2023–24 Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Resident at the Yale Center for British Art. During the residency, she engaged with the broader Yale special collections community and interacted with archivists from all over the world. Drawing upon her work at the YCBA Archives, Emily’s talk will focus on the broader implications of item-level description in an archival context, which typically privileges aggregate levels of description. However, her work often required her to research and describe objects at the item level. Emily will explore the advantages of single-item description in museum archives, as well as the barriers this approach can create. She will also discuss how traditional rare book and special collections cataloging and archival description can be combined to provide access and discoverability to objects within a larger archival collection. 

About Emily Crow

Emily Crow received a BA in art history from Columbia University in 2007; an MA in secondary English education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2012; and an master’s of library science and archival studies from Queens College, City University of New York, in 2023. During her studies, she processed Barbara Rosenthal’s personal archive for Queens College Library and spent a year working at the special collections archive at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She aims to continue her work in museum and academic archives and is interested in utilizing her background in education to raise awareness for archives, while promoting accessibility and the value of special collections.

Crow is the 2023–24 Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Resident in the Archives at the YCBA. The Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Residency is a nine-month term-limited position that provides library professionals with substantive exposure to rare materials cataloging. The residency is made possible by the Nadia Sophie Seiler Memorial Fund, established in memory of Nadia Sophie Seiler’s passion for books and libraries, with a goal of encouraging similar enthusiasm and expertise in the next generation of special collections librarians. 

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Art in Context

Presented by faculty, staff, Student Guides, and Visiting Scholars, these talks focus on a particular work of art—often in the museum’s collections or special exhibitions—through an in-depth look at its style, subject matter, technique, or time period.

Top image
A selection of materials from the Yale Center for British Art Archives, documented in the Study Room, YCBA, photo by Richard Caspole