The One Where We're Thankful

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November 11, 2019

The One Where We're Thankful

November Photos of the Month

Hello dear friends,

November is one of my very favorite months for many reasons. I love the crisp fall weather, the colorful leaves outside that crunch under my feet, the chance to begin reflecting on how far this year has brought me, and the promise of upcoming festivities as the holiday season draws near. No matter where you live and what you celebrate, I hope this November you are feeling the excitement, too.

This month, in anticipation of the upcoming holiday, I’ve chosen to select the Photos of the Month with thanksgiving and gratefulness in mind. Join me in exploring some ESVA photos that show facets of life which I feel are worth taking a moment to appreciate.


Emilio Segrè enjoys the outdoors.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Segre Collection

I’d like to start with something I believe we can all agree on: nature! Emilio Segrè, shown here posing in front of a picturesque canyon view, put it this way in A Mind Always in Motion: The Autobiography of Emilio Segrè:

“I always greatly loved nature and the outdoors, from the mountains of my youth, to fishing and mushroom-hunting in my old age. One’s way of enjoying nature obviously changes with age and physical strength. In the 1960’s several raft trips on rivers such as the Rogue in Oregon and Salmon in Montana introduced us to some aspects of the American wilderness of rare loveliness and romantic appeal.”

(P.S. This book is in the library if you would like to keep reading! And this brings me to our next photo…)


Robert Park, Sally Ride, and Jennifer Oullette converse with books in hand.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Books! Aren’t they spectacular? In this image, astronomer Sally Ride converses with University of Maryland Professor Emeritus Robert L. Park and science-writer Jennifer Oullette with books in hand. Ride and her partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy, had just been awarded the 1995 American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award for Children’s Books. This particular award-winning book was titled The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space, but Ride and O’Shaughnessy co-authored many other books in an effort to teach young audiences about space!


Ronald Mickens and his son, James Mickens.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Ronald E. Mickens Collection

Here Ronald Mickens, the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Physics at Clark Atlanta University, reminds me of the importance of family. This lovely father-son shot was taken after Ronald’s son, James, earned his Ph.D. from University of Michigan! Having the support of a parent, guardian, or loved one in our moments of triumph (as well as our not-so-triumphant times) is special and worthy of appreciation.


Homer Dodge takes a nap.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Dodge Collection

This one’s for all my college and grad school students out there- I hope you’re all getting some rest! Personally, it’s one of my very favorite pastimes, so I’m definitely thankful for sleep. And it seems that Homer Dodge was, as well, by the looks of this photo. Nap time= the best time.


Val Telegdi with a cat.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Telegdi Collection, gift of Judith Goodstein

Where would we be without our beloved pets? Some of the happiest images we have in the archives depict scientists with their furry companions. Case in point, here is physicist, Val Telegdi, posing with one of his adorable cats.


John Archibald Wheeler smiles with a camera.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Wheeler Collection

And of course, I have to show some love to the medium of art that makes the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives possible: photography! Through our photograph collections we gain a deeper understanding of the humanity behind the sciences and science history. We learn that scientists are more than the discoveries we know them for: they have families and friends, play sports and instruments, and some of them, like John Archibald Wheeler, shown here, even take selfies (some before selfies were cool)! I’m so grateful to the scientists and photographers who knew such moments were special enough to be captured. So, keep taking those photos! I, for one, love to see them.


That’s all for the November Photos of the Month! I hope this has served as a little inspiration to look around you and appreciate what is there.

How does my thanksgiving list compare to your own? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below with the things in your lives for which you feel extra grateful.

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About the Author: 

Samantha Holland

Samantha Holland is the AV & Media Archivist. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in English from the University of Hawai’i- West Oahu and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. One of her favorite collections in the archives is the William F. Meggers films. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, watching movies, and listening to music (preferably the Beatles). 

Caption: A still image from one of the Meggers films showing Megger’s travels to Dublin, Ireland, to attend the International Astronomical Union Ninth General Assembly in 1955. 

See all articles by Samantha Holland

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