Professional Development

Tour of Reynolda House Archives

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:32 pm

This morning, Craig, Vicki, Megan, and Rebecca visited Todd Crumley, Archivist at Reynolda House, for a tour of their facility. We stayed out of the historic home and spent our time on the new wing, where they moved the library and archive in 2005. Todd showed us the library, which is primarily made up of secondary sources to support research of the art collection, and we also got a birds-eye-view of the deconstruction of the latest Modern Masters exhibit. Very cool!

We then moved to the floor below the gallery level to where the archive is housed. New offices, a catering kitchen, and a loading dock are other features below the public level. It is obvious to those who watched the video of the mounting of the most recent Modern Masters exhibition, that large open space is necessary when moving pieces of art. Todd showed us the archives where the collections include Katharine Smith Reynolds correspondence and other family papers from the 1910′s and ’20′s. Apparently Katharine Reynolds was a saver and a meticulous woman to work for. Todd described the level of detail she captured from each building, all the furnishings, and even the gardening. The archive focuses on the historic home, the family, and the buildings within the village, but is growing as the business of the home has transformed into a museum and a public institution. Beyond the family’s papers, an extensive photograph collection along with building and landscape blueprints, allows users to see the evolution of the site from the turn of the century until now.

We also had a chance to hear from Kim Sissons about a large three year project that the museum is working on to collect digital images and information about all of their artwork, furnishings, and hopefully some of the archive into an amazing museum software called TMS (The Museum System). Over a hundred of their pieces of art have already been put into this database and the level of detail and the flexibility of the software is amazing. We look forward to accessibility on their new website by as early as Summer 2013.

We had a wonderful time visiting with Todd and everyone else at Reynolda House. We hope this conversation will spark some collaboration between our two collections and look forward to working with them in the future.

5 Responses to “Tour of Reynolda House Archives”

  1. It sounds like an interesting discussion and a great behind the scenes tour!

  2. This is a great write-up of a great visit. It is always fascinating to see how people with similar issues solve their problems. I’m hopeful we can work with Todd and Reynolda House in the future collaboratively. Thanks Rebecca!

  3. I love this collaboration. I trust we will/already have extended the same courtesy to Todd by inviting him to ZSR?

  4. We did extend an invitation to Todd to visit us! He visited a few years ago (2009, I believe) to see our collections and we talked about the issues and challenges of both sites. Hopefully he’ll be able to visit again soon and see the positive progress we’ve made and the changes in our physical space arrangements as well.

  5. Hey ZSR friends,

    Thanks for the lovely post about our archives! We love working with you guys. Look forward to future collaborations!


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