The beauty of everyday history

The Archives Center supports the mission of the National Museum of American History by preserving and providing access to documentary evidence of America’s past. With more than 1,000 collections, the Center contains paper-based textual records, photographs, motion picture films, videotapes, and sound recordings.

Here’s what Archives Center intern Kiley Orchard had to say about a project that, for her, is truly bringing history to life.

Rubies Reason #82 I love my job: Today I continued my work processing a collection of Revlon advertisements (print and television) from 1936-1986. It’s really cool to see how ideas about beauty changed throughout the decades. Even though I would hardly call myself a fashionista (although my co-workers and I do love to discuss “Project Runway”), I actually recognize quite a few of the models since I watch “America’s Next Top Model.” It reminds me of how the museum’s collections really relate not only to the social history of the past but today’s popular culture. My friends at home were pretty jealous when I told them what I was doing!

I was standing in line at CVS the other day and saw a brand of Revlon fragrance. I would never have noticed had I not just processed Revlon’s promotional material from years before. It’s funny how often I see things now that relate to the work being done in the Archives Center.