Deputy Director Mary Augusta Thomas had the pleasure of welcoming the visitors and pointing out that this is the first time the Libraries has been able to rationally arrange off-site collections in an environmentally sound space.
Research Annex Technician Mike Hardy led a whirlwind tour of the stack areas and answered questions about capacity of the stacks for the future, and the current use of the collections housed there. When the group reached the Book Conservation Lab, Book Conservator Vanessa Haight had on display a stellar example of a 19th century pop-up book as a good teaser for our next exhibition on moveable books. Examples of the work that is done by interns and volunteers were also on display, highlighting the Libraries' dedication to education and to using interns and volunteers in significant projects. The tour finished in the Imaging Center where Digital imaging Specialist David Holbert showed one of the beautiful butterfly books undergoing scanning. Ms Stonesifer asked perceptive questions about all of the Libraries' digital projects including the Biodiversity Heritage Library and mass scanning efforts, as well as high-end one-of-kind projects.
Ms. Stonesifer was accompanied by Smithsonian staff John Lapiana, Office of the Regents, Jim Gardiner and Patrick Ladden of the National Museum of American History, Claire Gill, Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations , Mike Headly, Office of Exhibits Central and Bill Tompkins, National Collections Program. —Mary Augusta Thomas