Welcome to marysamouelian.com

The collection of photographs, articles, historical materials, and other media embody a crossroads of my life as an archivist, photographer, and nascent documentarian. As far back as I can remember I've had the impulse to capture, document and preserve family history. Whether by photographing family moments, asking both Grandmas repeatedly to tell family stories whenever we visited them in Chicago, or now much later in life, taking on the role as the "family archivist" and leading the way to digitize family photographs, films and audio reels, the impulse has always been there.

My wonderfully circuitous career path has led to my current profession as an archivist where I make sure that historical books and manuscript materials in the library ultimately end up in the hands of researchers. In turn, my work as an archivist triggered my pursuit of a certificate in the Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke where I learned about the documentary process in a more formal setting and perhaps affirming what I already know is in my blood. Afterall, my grandfather was a photographer (to earn a living he was a manual laborer, but he was an artist at heart) and both my parents followed us around with a Super 8 movie camera and Sony TC-123 recorder until we reached an age where we were no longer cute.

This brings me back to why this website was created. While it is partially my attempt to highlight some of the work I've done, it is more a way to share with family, friends, and others my journey of discovery as an archivist, photographer, and documentary artist.