We are pleased to announce that the Galaxy of Images is the featured collection in this month's D-LIB Magazine. D-LIB is an online journal of digital library research. Its informative articles are made freely available by funding from the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and other sponsors.
Check out D-LIB to learn more about digital collections, including our own. And then head back over to the Galaxy of Images and become part of the process by tagging images!
—Erin Clements Rushing
As a reader of our blog, you’ve seen many of the wonderful images we provide. The Smithsonian Libraries’ Galaxy of Images contains image reproductions from our deep collections of books and manuscripts. Our image categories range from animals through literature, plants and flowers, science, technology, and beyond.
Now you have the opportunity to add keywords to your favorite images through our new tagging feature! When viewing an image’s details page, simply click on the Add Tags button on the bottom left. Add whatever terms you feel appropriately describe the image. Once vetted, these words will be added to the image’s metadata to enhance the Galaxy of Images’ search function and make our images more findable.
We hope this encourages scholars, scientists and other experts in their fields to help us add context to the images in our collection. However, all of our users, regardless of background, are invited to participate.
In addition, we’re looking for ways to increase awareness of the Galaxy of Images website and to improve the site’s functionality in other areas. If you use our images in publications or other projects, please take a few moments to complete a brief survey telling us about how you select images, the ways in which you use them, and the places where you find images. Your response will help us determine the friendliest methods for providing access to our images, as well as new and better ways to find the best images for the media you produce!
We encourage your participation in both the survey and our new tagging feature. Thank you so much for helping us to improve the Galaxy of Images.
—Bonnie Oliver, intern and Erin Clements Rushing, Digital Images Librarian
The Libraries is pleased to host Margaret "Betsy" Hagerty in an internship that will extend from January through the summer. Betsy will assist on a variety of staff projects, from helping Metadata Librarian Doug Dunlop research a book proposal to archiving files in the Director's Office. She will also have rotations with Cataloging, Special Collections and Preservation.
Betsy comes to the Libraries with a brand new undergraduate degree in English and History from the University of Georgia (UGA). While attending UGA, she worked in the Special Collections department of the libraries there. She intends to pursue an MLS this fall, although she remains open-minded about her specialization there. Like any good librarian-in-training, Betsy enjoys reading in her spare time, as well writing and enjoying whatever Netflix has to offer.
Please join us in welcoming Betsy!
—Erin Clements Rushing
Although you may be familiar with the gift shop note cards and calendars bearing Smithsonian Libraries images, did you know that you can buy a leather chair inspired by National Museum of American History trade literature or a rug based on designs found in the Dibner Library? By working with the Smithsonian Enterprises’ Product Development and Licensing (PD&L) team, the Libraries has had the opportunity to collaborate with vendors on a wide variety of product lines – including fireplace accessories from Pilgrim Hearth and Lenox figurines.
How does an image become a product?
PD&L develops relationships with vendors that they feel will uphold the integrity of the Smithsonian brand and often invites product designers to visit the Institution, giving them an opportunity to find further inspiration and explore the hidden treasures in our collections. For Libraries material, this could mean poring over a table full of trade literature or viewing rare botanical titles in the Cullman Library. The designers come armed with digital cameras to quickly capture illustrations that catch the eye. Designers then use these images to create items that replicate their patterns and features or are just based on their general style. There are multiple review stages in product design, where both PD&L and the contributing unit have the opportunity to approve the designs, accompanying description and even promotional materials. For all products based on material found in SIL’s collection, the Libraries receive a portion of the profits from their sale.
What makes a good product?
Often, vendors will approach the Smithsonian with a product line already in mind. They will consider what is commercially viable and how the line will work with their existing products. Product Development and Licensing pursues products that showcase the Smithsonian's unique collections in a quality product. According to Carol Leblanc, Director of New Business Development and Licensing for Smithsonian Business Ventures, the main goal is to ensure that “every product, in its’ own way, strives to offer the public another means of learning in an enjoyable, meaningful and authentic way; enhances the value of the Smithsonian name, and provides an opportunity to significantly increase the financial resources of the Smithsonian Institution.”
Stay tuned – in the coming weeks we will feature more products inspired by Libraries collections! —Erin Clements Rushing
Journal des dames et des modes
Journal des dames et des modes, 1914. Plate 168.
"Belle de l'Opera" figure. Courtesy of Lenox.
Portrait of Felix Nadar (1820-1910), Photographer and Aeronautical Scientist
Originally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution
This intriguing character has captured quite an audience on Flickr. To learn more about Felix Nadar, read our recent blog post on the Smithsonian Photography Initiative's blog, The Bigger Picture.
—Erin Clements Rushing