Once There Were Billions: 100 Year Anniversary of the death Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon

This post is written by Helen James, Curator-in-Charge, Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History. Ask Helen a question during our Twitterchat on Tuesday, September 2nd! Martha, the last passenger pigeon, is back on public display for the first time since 1999, this time in an exhibition titled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America that opened in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery of the National Museum of Natural more »

Twitterchat on September 2nd!

Please join the Smithsonian Libraries, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) for a twitterchat on September 2nd. The chat will take place between 2-3 pm (EST) and feature Helen James, Curator of Birds and our recent Once There Were Billions exhibit in NMNH, and Martin Kalfatovic, Program Director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Publications from the United States National Museum added to SRO

Thanks to support from the National Museum of Natural History,  Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) is adding a large body of legacy publications to its database this year. The source of the data is the annual reports of the United States National Museum (USNM) from the 1870s to the 1960s which often included an appendix listing staff publications. Some years there was no data listed, for example during World War II.

Mary Smith’s Commonplace book of science and mathematics added to Transcription Center

Mary Smith’s Commonplace book concerning science and mathematics  is a remarkable manuscript for several reasons. 1) It contains a wide breadth of information on the sciences of the mid to late 18th century 2) Mary Smith collected and compiled the information at a time when women were still not widely educated.

The Fall of a Mighty Empire: The Passenger Pigeon

The story of the last Passenger Pigeon and the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment. To help tell their story, the Smithsonian Libraries, Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the National Museum of Natural History have curated a joint exhibit entitled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America which opened June 24 in the National Museum of Natural History.  Two hundred years ago, the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes more »

Modern Extinction: Heath Hen

The story of the last Passenger Pigeon and the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment. To help tell their story, the Smithsonian Libraries, Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the National Museum of Natural History have curated a joint exhibit entitled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America which opened June 24 in the National Museum of Natural History. 

Carolina parakeet: A Splendor of Beauty Gone Forever

At this time of year, those of us in the U.S. often find our eyes turned skyward to admire a brilliant array of colors lighting up the night sky in celebration of America’s independence.  Up until about a hundred years ago, a colorful display of another kind filled the North American skies, and not just on the fourth of July. Jewel-colored Carolina parakeets (Conuropsis carolinensis) traveled in huge, noisy flocks from southern more »

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