Meta GibbsResearcher, 2005–2007

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Meta Gibbs joined the Diary Project while residing in Washington for two years. Her research centered on the New York City theater scene in the 1890s, especially on the Amberg Theater. Steinway served on the board of the theater, one of the ways he extended his involvement in the culture of the German-American community.

Behind the footlights, legal and financial problems plagued the production and management side of the Amberg. Gibbs found that varied avenues of research in the print media, the Smithsonian Institution, and other archives in Washington and New York City resulted in over 100 annotations for the project. She extends a special thanks to the staff of the White House Historical Society, Society of the Cincinnati, Museum of the City of New York, and George Mason University for providing more than one missing link during her research journey. She especially enjoyed searching the Steinway & Sons factory records for production information on Steinway pianos.

A native of the Northwest, Gibbs is from Seattle, Washington. She received her BA in English from the University of Washington and her PhD in education from Gonzaga University. She has served on the faculties of Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Whitworth College, as well as K-12 classroom and administrative experience. She has received the Spokane Arts Commission award for Individual Achievement in administration of cultural nonprofits in Spokane. While in the Washington, Meta wrote a docent resource guide for the Joseph Cornell exhibit at the American Art Museum and served as an information specialist at the Freer-Sackler Musuems. Her current activities include dispersing family archives and artifacts to six historical museums in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, and editing her grandfather's diaries (1890s) and great uncle's "hobo life" journals (1930s). She lives with her husband, Bob, in Cheney, Washington. They travel to Philadelphia to see their granddaughter’s family and to Europe to hear their second daughter and son-in-law perform with the Orchestra de La Palau Valencia and Copenhagen Philharmonic.