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Research your family tree at MAG’s library/archives

By Meg Colbert, Visual Resources Assistant / Creative Workshop Registrar

In preparation for the Memorial Art Gallery’s 2013 Centennial, the Library staff is busy making parts of our historical archives digitally accessible. This includes photographs of exhibitions and events, newspaper clippings and the MAG’s own publications. As I was scanning a page from Gallery Notes, a Gallery newsletter with information on exhibits, lectures, special events, staff changes and new members, a familiar name stood out. I learned that my great grandmother had joined the Gallery as a member 65 years ago, in October of 1945.

I am from New Jersey, but my grandparents grew up in Rochester, and many family members still reside in the area. I knew that my grandmother’s late sister, my great aunt, was involved at the Memorial Art Gallery. When I was 15 I attended her daughter’s wedding at the MAG, unaware that a mere 3 years later I would end up going to school at the University of Rochester and working at the MAG after graduation. When going through files from the Memorial Art Gallery’s Gallery Council (then known as the Women’s Council) I came across a photograph of my great aunt with a group of women. Through various membership and committee lists I found out more information about her level of dedication to the Gallery, and have since spoken to staff members who remember her. Unfortunately, she passed away before I had the chance to get to know her, but I keep a copy of the photograph I found on my desk to remind me of the legacy I am continuing through my work at the Memorial Art Gallery.

The Charlotte Whitney Allen Library staff is happy to assist those seeking information on family members that were affiliated with the Gallery through our archival material including photographs, exhibition catalogs and other records. The Library can be reached at (585) 276-8999.


Comment from Amelia
Time: November 5, 2010, 10:45 am

What a great story, Meg! That must have been a fascinating discovery. Definitely enjoyed this blog entry!

Comment from Nancy Miller
Time: November 12, 2010, 4:31 pm

I am Meg’s maternal grandmother, who like my mother (her maternal great grandmother) was born and grew up in Rochester. I an delighted with the beautifully written article “Research Your Family Tree” that Meg wrote. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I discovered the part concerning my mother joinging the Gallery in 1945. I did know how involved my sister was at the Gallery. I have not lived in Rochester in over 60 years, but I believe once a Rochestarian, always a Rochestarian. I am thrilled Meg lived there and of course am very proud of her.

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