Even the most experienced scholars can find it difficult to keep up with new research in their fields. So much is being published in journals and online every day that it can be overwhelming. So I’ve put together a list of websites to help you wade through the rising tide of research. These resources are available free to anyone via the Internet and offer useful tools for discovering new research in a wide variety of subject areas. Continue reading
On Monday, January 21, 2013, we will celebrate the 57th Inauguration for the President of the United States of America. You will remember that President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 marked the first swearing-in of an African American to lead our country. You also may recall some of the details about the very first inauguration on April 30, 1789, when George Washington was sworn in as president of our new nation. But have you ever wondered about some of the other “firsts” related to this historic event? We have gathered together some bits of information about presidential inaugurations that we hope will enlighten and entertain. Continue reading
The Smithsonian Institution Mentorship Program is an annual 9-month program dedicated to “developing leaders throughout the Institution” through professional development in the areas of networking, interpersonal skills, coaching, and institutional engagement. This past year, 60 participants, consisting of 30 mentors and 30 “mentees,” were selected as a result of a competitive application process. In addition to a curriculum of monthly training courses, the program provided rare opportunities for behind-the-scenes tours and meetings with notable leaders across the Institution including Secretary Clough. Mentees worked with their mentors to achieve a set of personal goals through a variety of learning opportunities, thus each experience of the program was unique. Smithsonian Libraries was proud to have 2 mentees in the 2012 Mentorship program, Bianca Crowley and Dave Opkins. Below, each will describe their experiences working with their mentors and their key takeaways. Continue reading
So have you made your New Year’s resolutions? We’ve got a suggestion that might be easier than losing 10 pounds or finally getting your life organized. Read more! To help you with this resolution, we asked Smithsonian Libraries staff for a list of books worth reading. (A few couldn’t resist making more than one recommendation!) The list includes fun reads as well as some that are more scholarly, so there should be something for just about everyone. We’ve included links to help you find the books in a local library or, in some cases, online. And feel free to share your own suggestions in the Comment field. We’d love to know what’s on your reading list!
We all scream for ice cream! Without question, ice cream is one of the most popular treats in America, but do you know much about its history?
According to Laura B. Weiss, author of Ice Cream: A Global History, iced drinks can be traced back to at least the ancient Greeks and Romans. But many historians believe that the emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China may have been the first to eat a frozen milk-like confection — made with fermented cow, goat or buffalo milk which had camphor added to make it flake like snow. Italians generally are credited with inventing ice cream as we know it today, popularizing a concoction of sugar, flavorings (often fruit like lemon or strawberry), and ice or snow sometime in the mid-seventeenth century. Ice cream was particularly favored by the French aristocracy in the 1800s, and Thomas Jefferson is said to have gained an appreciation for the treat while serving as US ambassador to France from 1784-1789. Continue reading