Sira Dooley Fairchild has been working at the Bostonian Society since February as the Finance and Administrative Assistant. In December, she will begin a new position as the Society's Collections Manager, where she will be a regular contributor to On King Street. Get to know Sira a bit in this introduction post!
Although I have written a few posts on this blog previously, I’d like to take a minute to formally introduce myself as the Society's new Collection Manager. The Bostonian Society's object holdings include some 6,500 artifacts and pieces of art. I am very excited to get started as the Collections Manager and I can’t wait to feature some of the most interesting objects from the collection.
I am a broadly-trained archaeologist, with experience digging and surveying on two continents. I received my Ph.D in archaeology from the University of Durham in 2013, where my research focused on early medieval religious change through an historiographical lens. But my very first experience with Collections Management began many years before, when I was just 12 years old and I began to volunteer at the Boston City Archaeological Laboratory, which at that time was located in the North End. Home to thousands of artifacts, many of them from the Big Dig, the lab had recently experienced a flood in one of their collections storage areas and many of the artifacts required cleaning, relabeling, and improved storage conditions.
Since then I have worked as a commercial archaeologist, digging my way across New England and the Deep South, done landscape survey in Iceland, and ground penetrating radar on an Iron Age oppidum in Gloucestershire in England. I have collected soil samples and C-14 samples and conducted GPS mapping. I have sifted through thousands of unnumbered photos from the 1953 excavation at Yeavering in Northumbria. I have written the site report for the site of Scutchamer’s Knob in Oxfordshire, after analyzing the entire collection of objects recovered from the site in earlier excavations. I am excited to be back in Boston, where this adventure began, and excited for the challenge of getting my head around this diverse collection. Please join me in exploring some of the most interesting objects from Revolutionary Boston as I begin to write about them for the blog.