Alison Oswald is the Archivist for the Lemelson Center. She is responsible for administering the Modern Inventors Documentation (MIND) Program, which documents, interprets, and disseminates information about invention and innovation. Alison processes invention-related collections, including all registration procedures; arranges, describes, and prepares Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACs) compliant finding aids using the Archivists’ Toolkit and cataloging records for the online system, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS); and performs holdings maintenance and other preservation techniques for collections. She works collaboratively with National Museum of American History curatorial staff to identify and appraise inventor’s papers, records, and artifacts that have particular significance to the research and educational goals of the Museum and Archives Center and encourage donation of those materials.
Alison is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and was a co-curator of Doodles, Drafts, and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian, which traveled with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service for five years, 2001-2005. She has a strong interest in arrangement and description, encoded archival description (EAD), access to the primary materials, and mentoring and fostering budding archivists through internships. Alison holds a M.A. of Library Science from the State University of New York at Albany, a M.S., Historic Preservation from Ball State University, and a B.A., History from Saint Bonaventure University. She originally came to the Museum in 1995 as the first Lemelson Archival Intern.