Assessment / Hagia Sophia / Robert Van Nice

The Last Box

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes being an archivist takes a bit of detective work. Folders and files don’t always obviously indicate the organization or order of their contents–and that’s if you’re lucky to receive materials already in folders and files!  The shameful dark corner of the Van Nice collection might be this giant cardboard box of photostats taken at the Fossati archive in Switzerland, where Van Nice studied.

As you can see, it’s a bit…disorganized.  It’s a puzzle for us, since in terms of preservation, the copies themselves are not particularly valuable (because the originals still exist safely in Switzerland, and also because they are poor copies in poor condition), but it’s tempting to keep them for the sake of the integrity of the collection.  They are also potentially interesting just as relics of a now-obscure copying method. We’re putting this on the back burner while we concentrate on getting the rest of the collection in order…

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