Getting there is Half the Fun

Dinah Cardin

G. B. Conti, “On the Sports Deck” in Augustus – Navigazione Generale Italiana, about 1927–28, printed brochure. Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Howard Galvin Steamship Ephemera Collection © Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Allison White.

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr may be the stars of the classic move An Affair to Remember, but the luxury ocean liner that brought the couple together in the middle of the Atlantic certainly played a critical supporting role. “Could there be a more glamorous and romantic setting for a film?” asks Daniel Finamore, PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History. “It certainly captured people’s imaginations.” Read more

Into the Woods: The Anthropologist, the Archives and the Historian

Ann Plane

Bird skin, Frank Speck Papers, Box 1, Folder 12, Phillips Library.

Bird skin, Frank Speck Papers, Box 1, Folder 12, Phillips Library.

Most archival work is pretty predictable—the usual mix of letters, sketches, and other paper-based materials. It’s not every day that you page up a box, open up a folder, unfold the notebook in the folder, and find a songbird skin. Throughout my summer as a Malamy Fellow, I found all manner of interesting things while combing through the materials that make up the manuscript collections of Frank G. Speck at the Phillips Library.  The bird skin looked a little the worse for the wear, but there it sat, feathers and all, nestled among field notes, correspondence, photographs, maps, and much more.[1] Read more

Raising the Queen Elizabeth

Dinah Cardin

A model of the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth has sat serenely for the last 15 years, gliding along on its pedestal in a PEM gallery. The 2,700 pound object experienced a dramatic disruption in early April as a crew made up of about two dozen PEM staff began the arduous process of moving her to an upper floor gallery be part of the exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed, Glamour, and Style. Read more