The Philadelphia Museum of Art Library and Archives is pleased to announce that Synatra Smith is our new Fellow for Digital Curation and Scholarship in African American Studies. In this role, she will leverage data and research about the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s African-American art collection to expand how the museum presents and thinks about its holdings. She will also broaden the museum’s connection with the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University by collaborating with Temple Libraries’ digital humanities research center, the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio. Through this collaboration between the museum and Temple University, Synatra will work to develop digital humanities projects that unite the data and collections held at each respective institution. This work will directly impact the ability of these institutions to document Philadelphia artists and make the African diaspora more easily accessible in Philadelphia and beyond.
Synatra comes to us from the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center where she managed education partnerships, an IMLS-funded collections digitization project, curated student art shows, delivered education programs for children ages 3+ and adults, and lead outreach efforts to bring the museum's collection to the community. Her doctoral research focused on Black middle-class identity construction through staged and non-stated performances. She also is currently working on a research project for the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation to develop a report to contextualize the history of racially restrictive deed covenants in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Synatra is a member of the seventeenth cohort of Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) postdoctoral fellows. The fellows convened for the first-ever virtual Summer Seminar at the end of July.
Please join us in extending her a warm welcome to the museum and the Philadelphia cultural heritage community!