Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel collection, 1876-2020 and undated, bulk 1950-2020 651 boxes — 651 boxes; 8 oversize folders; 2 tubes; 2 frames.
Spanning 1876 to 2020, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950 to 2019, the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Collection documents the life and career of a pioneering advocate for art, architecture, historical preservation, and public policy. The collection comprises over 650 boxes of research files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs, memorabilia, artifacts, and artwork, all stemming from Diamonstein-Spielvogel's long career and her prolific output of books, educational programming, interviews, public art installations, and exhibits. The materials highlight her work with many arts and political organizations and her appointments to committees such as the Commission for Cultural Affairs and the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Over one hundred of her television interviews with notable artists and other figures have been digitized by the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive at Duke University.
Topics covered by the materials in this collection include broad categories such as art and architecture in the 20th century; historic preservation and the protection of cultural property; media and society; social conditions, women's rights and the arts in Slovakia during her husband's ambassadorship there; U.S. and overseas politics, particularly related to the Democratic Party; U.S. public policy, with a focus on the arts; the built environment; women and the arts; gender issues and women's rights; travel abroad; and many others. Early materials dating from 1929 to 1965 - chiefly correspondence, writings, and photographs - document family history, her education, and her earliest career in teaching. Other early dates in the collection refer to reproductions of 19th century images chiefly found in exhibit and research files.
The collection is divided into series: Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Political Files, Professional Files, Art and Architecture Project Files, Art and Design Project Files, Historic Preservation Project Files, Scrapbooks and Visual Arts Materials.
Taken as a whole, the collection offers rich documentation on the evolution of art and architecture in the U.S., the development of adaptive reuse and landmarks legislation, the relationship of public policy to the arts, and the interplay between public policy and the built environment. Materials from Diamonstein-Spielvogel's personal and research files also document the changing roles of men and women in the United States, and the development of U.S. gender studies; not only did she write on the subject, but her own experiences reveal aspects of women in the workforce, in politics and activist movements, and in positions of authority. Additionally, because of her work for the White House and the Democratic Party, the collection offers insights into 20th century U.S. politics, nationally and in her home state of New York.