Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn An Oasis for Birds and Birders | Page 17

Highlight from our Historical Collections: Bringing to light the Photographic Collections at Mount Auburn By Melissa Banta, Program Officer for Photographs at Harvard University Library, Weissman Preservation Center; Historical Collections Consultant at Mount Auburn Curator of Historical Collections Meg Winslow has spearheaded an initiative to bring to light and encourage the use of Mount Auburn’s extensive photograph col- lections. Accumulated for more than a century and a half and currently housed in the Cemetery’s Historical Collections Department, the photograph holdings offer multiple perspectives of Mount Auburn’s varied and changing landscape and the history of the rural cemetery movement. The collection spans the history of the medium from stereo views to digital images taken by noted photographers, staff, and associates. The project included completing a detailed inventory and description of the holdings, cataloguing images into the collections database, and taking critical steps to preserve the photographs. Re- searchers will be fascinated to find evocative scenes of the two chapels, monuments, and mausolea representing the funerary artwork of celebrated 19th- and 20th-century architects and artists; seasonal views of trees, horticulture, and landscape design; and intriguing documentary shots revealing the inner workings of the Cemetery. “I can’t say how thrilled I am that we have accomplished this exciting project,” Winslow notes. “As a result we have created another portal into the extraordinary-and still unplumbed-visual history of Mount Auburn.” See a gallery of images and learn more about our Historical Collections at: www.mountauburn.org/photograph-collections Mount Auburn’s Historical Collections includes several stereo views of the Swan House and swans at Auburn Lake (above, top). Spring/Summer 2012 | 15