Volume 1, No. 2

South Florida Collections Management Center

Re:Collections

Winter 2011

What’s New . . .

Flamingo Pink. As part of ongoing historic preservation efforts at the Everglades National Park, the Flamingo Visitor Center and marina store, as well as the Daniel Beard Center at HM-69 Nike missile base, have been repainted in their historic color schemes. Research, including paint analysis, conducted for new historic structures reports revealed the pink past, which was a popular color in South Florida in the 1950s-1960s. Now finding the Beard Center for a staff tour of the museum collection is easier than ever!

Jennifer Stafford

SFCMC Staff Spotlight

Meet Jennifer Stafford! Jennifer is the SFCMC’s new museum specialist/registrar. She started at the SFCMC this past December. Jennifer is originally from Texas and has held museum positions with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Steamboat Bertrand Collection at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri Valley, Iowa) and the U. S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. Please welcome her!

Rodman cannon mounted on a reproduction carriage

25-ton Rodman Cannon on Carriage for First Time in c. 110 Years

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Dry Tortugas as a unit of the National Park Service, a 15” Rodman cannon has been mounted on a reproduction carriage. The original carriages were sold for scrap in 1900. Over 50 people, including EVER and DRTO staffs, cooperators, conservators, metal fabricators, boat builders, and the 482nd Civil Engineers Squadron of the Homestead Air Reserve Base, contributed to the successful completion of what Nancy calls her biggest and most expensive exhibit mount! For more information, see http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/12/how-do-you-move-25-ton-cannon-dry-tortugas-national-park-found-ingenious-answer7291.

About the cannons

Fort Jefferson has a nationally significant collection on 19th century seacoast guns. Of the 25 surviving 15” Rodman smoothbore guns, DRTO has six. Of the surviving 13 10” rifled Parrott guns, four are at DRTO. Since 2004, SFCMC Curator Nancy Russell has been conducting a multi-year cannon conservation project to preserve these massive guns. The Rodman gun pictured left was manufactured in 1871 by Cyrus Alger & Company in Boston, MA. It weighs 49,644 lbs. The center-pintle carriage is a modern reproduction made from the historic drawings.

Adel Pena arranging specimens at the SFCMC

Collection Corner

The multi-park herbarium at the SFCMC has been the focus of recent cataloging and preservation efforts. The collections of Big Cypress National Preserve (BICY) and Biscayne National Park (BISC) contain about 1800 and 600 herbarium specimens, respectively. The specimens, both native and non-native species, were collected under permits from the 1970s to the present day. Most were scanned through a cooperative agreement between the South Florida and Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The images and searchable database can be accessed at http://www.virtualherbarium.org/. Utilizing FY10 and FY11 backlog cataloging funding, the SFCMC was able to hire two biology students, Klara Scharnagl and Adel Peña to mount, catalog and rehouse additional specimens.

DESO Herbarium Established

De Soto National Memorial (DESO) recently added the first plant specimens to its herbarium. The specimens were collected by M.R. Van Egmond in December 1963 but were only recently found at the park and accessioned into the museum collection at the SFCMC. Among the hundreds of specimens cataloged by Adel, these are her favorite because of hand-written notes on the sheets. Scanning of these specimens will occur as funding allows

SFCMC & SEAC Archives Meeting

From January 11-13, 2011, Curator Nancy Russell and Archivist Bonnie Ciolino traveled to the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) in Tallahassee, Florida to discuss a new coordinated approach to cataloging archeological project records housed at SEAC and the SFCMC, using the archives module of ICMS. John Roberts, NPS senior archivist, Mary Troy, SER regional curator, and Ryan Polk, SERO staff curator, were snowed or iced into their respective states but joined the discussion via teleconference. It is hoped that, after testing, the process developed will serve as a model for the region and can be adopted by SEAC for other parks as well. Following the conference call, Bonnie, Richard Vernon, Audrey Trauner, and Charlie Sproul began drafting a framework to incorporate BICY archeological project records at SEAC into one archives hierarchy with records at the SFCMC. The other SFCMC parks will also have new hierarchies which include SEAC records. Bonnie also gave a brief training on using the archives module. While Bonnie was working hard, Nancy reviewed potential objects for the new exhibits at DRTO. Nancy also met with the curators at the Museum of Florida History and the reviewed artifacts from the Governor Martin site at the Bureau of Archeological Resources, for possible future loan for exhibits at DESO.

Archives in Action

Among the many research requests received by the SFCMC archives this year, we recently assisted EVER interpreter Barbara Hedges by providing material, like the Wind Across the Everglades movie poster (EVER-973) seen left, to develop her campground evening program featuring the Everglades in popular culture. Remember to contact the archives when you’re researching and developing your programs!

Last updated: February 5, 2018