Mairead McDermott ’24
November 26, 2023

Paving the Way for Gilot Archives Digitization

Mairead McDermott ’24 is spending her senior year making major contributions to the preservation and accessibility of the Berman Museum’s Françoise Gilot Archival Collection.

Mairead McDermott ’24 is ready for museum work. The senior has collected an impressive academic resume at Ursinus College, double majoring in Art & Art History and Anthropology & Sociology with minors in both Museum Studies and Chinese Language. She’s already applying to master’s programs, and she dreams of working in a collection of Ancient Chinese art. 

The museum studies program at Ursinus College allows students to try out several different areas of museum work. Last year, Mairead worked as a Student Archivist at the Myrin Library’s Archives and Special Collections and was part of a student curatorial team for last spring’s exhibition Michael Dela Dika: Shaping RhapsodyBetween the two, Mairead fell head over heels for collections work.

To close out her museum studies minor, Mairead is interning at the Berman Museum of Art in the Gilot Archival Collection. She’s spent her fall semester organizing and cataloging hundreds of exhibition documents, newspaper articles, and family photographs. When she comes back from winter break, she’ll start scanning each item to build a digital database of the archive. 

The physical archives will remain at the Berman Museum in updated storage, but deterioration can still occur even with the best protocol in place. The digital copies will guarantee the preservation of all the information the Gilot Archive has to offer. Together with the digitization of the Gilot art housed at the Berman, the museum will be able to support greater access to and research on the artist’s significant contributions to the development of modern art.

Read more about the museum’s history with Françoise Gilot.