Women’s History Month: An American in Paris, Thérèse Bonney

Born in upstate New York, Thérèse Bonney(1897-1978), was a photojournalist whose work reflected a wide variety of interests and subjects. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Radcliffe College in the 1910s. Bonney immigrated to France in 1919 where she became one of the first ten women to graduate from the Sorbonne and founded the first American illustrated press service in Europe, the Bonney Service, in 1924. 

Libraries Artists Shine

Congratulations to Jody Mussoff, Doug Dunlop, and Huston Dove, Libraries catalogers whose artwork was selected for inclusion in Artists at Work 2011, a juried exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Community Committee.

Congratulations … Again!

In a happy coincidence, for the second consecutive year the annual Award for Photography by the Northern Virginia Review, a publication of literature and the arts, has been given to a Library Systems & Services employee, Todd Morgan, who works onsite in the Libraries’ Cataloging Department.

Pictures In A Minute

Today in 1947 the Polaroid Land camera made its debut. The Libraries featured Polaroid items from its trade literature collection last year, as well as museum objects from the National Museum of American History.

Say Cheese

From the first camera obscura to the modern digital camera it's time to celebrate Camera Day. Well, actually, June 29 was Camera Day, but it's always great to celebrate! You can find many catalogs from camera manufacturers in the Trade Literature Collection at the National American History Museum Library. This image and more on the Libraries' Flickr site are all from Polaroid catalogs. —Ninette Dean

The Pageant of America

The Smithsonian American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library has in its collection the photograph archive, The Pageant of America. This collection has also recently been digitized by The New York Public Library: In 1926, the United States celebrated its sesquicentennial, and a number of special projects were organized to document the country's people, history, culture, and folkways. One such project was The Pageant of America: A Pictorial History of the United States, published by Yale University Press from 1925 to 1929. Professor Ralph Henry Gabriel edited the work, and all told, it contained 15 volumes that addressed themes like exploration, arts and leisure, industry, commerce, and politics. This digital collection from the New York Public Library contains over 7000 of the published and unpublished photographs and prints used in these extravagant volumes. It's great just to look through the "Source Title" headings found by clicking on "Collection Contents" near the top of the page. Here visitors can meander through sections like "In defense of liberty", "American idealism", and "The American spirit in architecture". more »

Preservation of Digital Material

Many of us are not fully aware of the enormous quantity of text, images, audio and video that are being produced today in digital format. But we can begin to imagine the sheer volume when we consider the following situation familiar to most of us: prior to digital cameras (which most of us own today) a person taking photographs had to concern him or herself with the number of exposures on a roll of film, the cost of developing each roll of film and to a lesser degree, the ultimate storage of paper-based pictures whether in boxes or photo albums. With the elimination of these concerns, today there is little barrier to snapping as many photographs as a camera-owner desires, especially if s/he has spare memory cards to insert when one becomes full.  Similar analogies can be made with digital text, audio and video but one area with which very few of us are familiar is the explosion in the deployment of data-gathering equipment for science in recent decades. Ocean more »

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