Profile profile for oswalda

Alison Oswald

  • M.L.S, State University of New York at Albany
  • M.S., Ball State University
  • B.A., Saint Bonaventure University
Research Specialties: 
  • American inventors and invention
  • History of science and technology and health care related collections
  • Archival arrangement and description
  • Archival studies, special emphasis on archival internships
Role in Museum: 

Archivist. Process (arrange and describe) invention-related collections, unit representative and liaison for ArchivesSpace (EAD), coordinate the Lemelson Center archival internship, the Lemelson Center’s Travel to Collections Awards Program, and the Archives Center's Internship Program.

  • Inventive Minds: Women Inventors (September 2018-January 2020) Feature stories illustrating the creativity of women inventors over more than a century. 
  • Inventive Minds: Sporting Inventions (September 2017–August 2018) Features stories of inventors who changed the way Americans play.
  • Inventive Minds: Everyone Is Inventive (July 2015-August 2016) Featured the stories of diverse historic and contemporary inventors.
  • Inventive Minds: Inventing Green (September 2016-August 2017) Featured the stories of historic and contemporary inventors whose work on socially-responsible technologies creates profound change for the common good. 
  • Access! Everyrone! Everywhere! Elaine Ostroff and the Universal Design Movement (December 2016-March 2017)
  • Watching Mr. Wizard: Innovation in Science Education (May 2015 to September 2015)
  • Collaborative Smithsonian EAD (Encoded Archival Description) Project (2009-2012)
  • Doodles, Drafts and Designs: Two Centuries of Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian (August 2001-October 2001) Moravian College, Payne Art Gallery, Bethlehem, PA,  Exhibition traveled under the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) for 5 years.
Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • 2013 NMAH Peer Award for Risk-Taking as a member of the Lemelson Center Team.
  • 2018 NMAH Peer Award for Collaboration. 


Charlotte Cramer Sachs in the Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present sheds new light on the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States. It traces the lives, careers and business ventures of eminent German-American business people of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history.

"Mr. Darby Goes to Washington," American Windsurfer no. 5 (1998).

Discusses the donation and significance of the Newman Darby archives to the Archives Center.

"William Frederick Friedman, A Pictorial Essay" Cryptologia 16, no. 3 (July 1992).

Illustrates and provides a brief overview of the life of William F. Friedman.