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Object of the Month #1.1
Realia
October 2014

This month brings the first of a new series from your friendly NMH Archives! My name is Sara Karz Reid, and I’m Peter’s assistant. You may have seen me in the basement of Schauffler sitting at a table covered with (but not limited to) some of these tools of the trade: needles and thread, linen tape, India ink, fountain pens, rulers, a camera, a tripod, nitrile gloves, poster board, notebooks, a computer, magnets, reference books, a magnifying glass, tissue paper, and boxes. These things help me identify, catalog, and preserve objects ranging from old Pie Race mugs to cuneiform tablets. If you’re curious about anything you see me working on, come over and ask!

Over the years NMH has amassed a not-insignificant collection of objects, many given to the school by alumni. Until very recently, however, there hasn’t been a good record of exactly what we have. And that’s been too bad, because (a) there’s a lot of really interesting stuff down here, and (b) these things are realia that haven’t been fulfilling their destiny (dramatic, but true).

So, what are realia? Simply put, realia are three-dimensional objects in an archival collection that are used as teaching aids. The realia are one lens through which to look at the history of NMH and the people that have been associated/affiliated with it over the years, in all of its many incarnations. You, your teachers, and everybody at NMH gets to have access to these objects to achieve their educational goals. Your teachers might use objects to help illustrate a lesson, or you might come to the archives to research an object as part of an assignment (gmail me at sreid to make an appointment first).

The catalog is a work in progress, with new items accessioned every week. I will be highlighting one object a month as part of this series. If there’s anything specific you would like to see here, or if you have questions or comments about an item that’s been featured, just let me know.

Since this has gotten quite long enough, I’ll save the actual object for tomorrow. But in the meantime, here’s a teaser (see photo below).

Sara Karz Reid
Assistant Archivist


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