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Smithsonian Libraries on Flickr

The Smithsonian joins the Flickr Commons project on June 16!

The Smithsonian Libraries provided a selection of photographic portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. These portraits, part of a larger collection of over a 1,000 portraits in various media. The entire collection is available online at Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

man-balloonThe Flickr Commons project provided Smithsonian staff an excellent opportunity for collaborations between our different museums and researcher centers. In addition to providing content, Smithsonian Libraries staff provided important technical and metadata skills which enhanced the success of the project.

Flickr Commons is a new forum created by Flickr for cultural institutions to share their photographic collections. The Smithsonian was the fourth institution to join, following the Library of Congress, the Powerhouse Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum.

About the Dibner Library Portrait Collection (Ron Brashear)

The scientific portrait collection in the Dibner Library was assembled by Bern Dibner. The images formed a fine research complement to the thousands of scientific books and manuscripts in the library he founded, the Burndy Library. Bern Dibner obtained most of the portraits during the 1940s from print dealers in Boston, London, and Paris. By 1950 he had about two thousand images and arranged them into ten scientific subdivisions: Botany, Chemistry, Electricity, Geology, Mathematics, Medicine, Philosophy, Physics, Technology, and Zoology. The portraits are of various types: woodcuts, copper and steel engravings, mezzotints, lithographs, oil paintings, and photographs. Many of them are images that were printed as separate items, used as gifts to send to colleagues and admirers. The exchange of portraits among scientists in the eighteenth century became a very popular form of correspondence. A number of prints also served as frontispieces of books and, unfortunately, a few of the prints in the collection had originally been bound as pages in books and removed some time in the distant past.

(photo above left: Portrait of Felix Nadar (1820-1910), Photographer and Aeronautical Scientist; see the picture on Flickr or in Scientific Identity)

51 Comments

  1. A. REUSCH

    WHERE IS LISE MEITNER ?

  2. The Dibner Library’s portrait collection is extensive but by no means comprehensive. It reflects the collecting interests of one man, Bern Dibner. The Churchill Archives Center at Churchill College, Cambridge has a substantial collection of portraits of Dr. Meitner.

  3. Many of them are images that were printed as separate items, used as gifts to send to colleagues and admirers. This is great.

  4. A fantastic collection of portraits, there is even one of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the first practical telephone.

  5. This is great news that Smithonian is putting up pictures for display on Flickr for everyone to enjoy!

  6. Images in that flickr library are too good.

  7. Tom

    I find this post really interesting, thanks for the writing!
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  8. That is a great picture above. I wonder if he used equipment to reach out and take a photo of himself. Also, wouldn’t the light bulb fall down below?

  9. Breathtaking blog with interesting information! Thanks!

  10. We all love art. It gives something to our workdays.

  11. Wow, I heard a lot about this community. But I could never find the right page on Flickr until now. Thanks for providing the information!

  12. It is great because they cover so many subjects at once. University should support student learning and exploring process with many books and journals. Thank you.
    Carrie W.,
    Umm Al-Qura University

  13. I heard that the library had really vast collection of digital records and journals! Really great that now I read directly from this site. Good luck with the future progress!
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  14. The wide selection of books and journals should help the student finding relevant information about the study. That is good. I hope you also provide online resources. cheap auto insurance

  15. That is great.. I didn’t presume before that the library has so many collection of books, journals, and other online media. It is really supporting for the studying and learning process. promotional pens

  16. BRay

    Great, we need more post like this…
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  17. Should be great when people can find just anything they want in one place. I hope libraries in my country are supported that optimally too. wall art

  18. Should be great when people can find just anything they want in one place. I hope libraries in my country are supported

  19. I heard a lot about this community. But I could never find the right page on Flickr until now. Thanks for providing the information!

  20. That is very good comment you shared.Thank you so much that for you shared those things with us.Im wishing you to carry on with ur achivments. chat . cinsellik . All the best.

  21. home weight training

    Making these portraits available online is an excellent way to advance art to the public. I can’t wait till more of the collection is available.

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  23. Your blog is very nice. I m really impressed .I m waiting for your next post. Hopefully I will get it soon.

  24. Terrific post, keep it up. Have a great day.

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    I agree that some things probably could be done differently and to greater effect
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  26. club penguin

    This is a great thing for Dibner Library. The Dibner Library is definitely a great collection and worth checking out.

  27. This is a great thing for Dibner Library. The Dibner Library is definitely a great collection and worth checking out.

  28. Art should be shared to anyone. People need inspiration. I turn to art when I write my essay it is a great feeling indeed to be inspired with different forms of art.

  29. Interesting. It’s good to see very old establishments like the Smithsonian are using web 2.0 and social media!

  30. It’s nice to see an age-old organization ‘becoming modern’. If there’s anything our young people need, it’s an anchor to the past as well as an appreciation for what has gone before them!

  31. This is great news that the Smithsonian is putting up pictures for display on Flickr for everyone to enjoy! Good dude !!!! :)))))

  32. Ryan Patrick

    Great enthusiastic post, everyone should need to this kind of useful information…Anyway good to share with us.

  33. Dan bartel

    Great blog post!

  34. This is a good move by Smithsonian Libraries. Will definitely check out the collection.

  35. Lucy M.

    Thank you for your informative blog. I came across your blog while looking for different information but I was glad I found it. The information you provided here is great. I have some relevant information you can review below.

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    I prefer Dibner Library to Smithsonian Library

  37. Servicing Stop

    Really interesting stuff, thanks alot for sharing.

  38. The portraits in the Dibner libray are fantastic. They shed a lot of light in the past. My regards are due to the staff of Smithsonian library for availing these portraits to us.
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  39. CurtisAlbert

    I’m glad to learn that the scientific portrait collection in the Dibner Library was assembled by Bern Dibner. I like the fact that the library is comprehensive in its collection. Thanks a lot for sharing. http://statementswritinghelp.com.

  40. Casquette Batman

    I find this post really interesting, thanks for sharing

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