“I can remember this day like it was yesterday. It had been really hot that summer, but we were still just as proud as can be to be in that parade.” –Museum guard
“Hey, that’s my brother Kenny in that one….ha, ha–look at him”. –Museum custodial staff
“Yeah, that’s my mom and dad at a Frog’s event”. –Gift shop supervisor
“Wow….I never saw this before. And I was right there–wow!” –Museum guard
Museum patrons stop to observe the Charles “Teenie” Harris photographs for many reasons. Perhaps it’s the various historical subjects it reveals. Or maybe it’s the beautiful women in his photography. Or it could be that the image is just so interesting to view. However, for many staff members of the Carnegie Museum who grew up just a few miles away, they might being seeing a friend, a relative, or even themselves in familiar local settings. The fact is if it weren’t for the information that has been supplied from museum employees, we would still be very much in the dark about the true identity of many people, places, organizations, and customs found in the close to 80,000 images in the Teenie Harris Archive. Casual conversations with guards, custodians, restaurant, and gift shop employees has led to imperative clarification of the collections data. Thus, as we prepare for each new Teenie exhibition or research new ID’s, one of my most important steps is to pass through the museum corridors and search for clarification from some of the most well-versed contributors to the Teenie Harris Archive—museum staff.