Each year at the Smithsonian staff picnic on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Congress of Scholars sponsors a "research tent" that allows Smithsonian staff to share their current and upcoming research projects with colleagues. This year, the Libraries featured our work on the Caldwell & Co. Lighting project.
As always, it was wonderful to see what research projects or exhibitions our colleagues are working on. There was even another lighting related project (!) "The Challenge of Domestic Illumination
in the 19th Century" from the National Museum of American History – but it focused on patents and technology rather than design.
The Caldwell project was great to work on not just because the collection is great, but because, like all our digital projects, it gave Libraries staff the opportunity to collaborate across our various departments and share ideas about new ways to provide access to our collections.
For the Caldwell photo archive, we tried to provide wider access to the collection and bring it to potential audiences by putting select images on the flickr commons, experiment with geotagging images that had lighting fixtures from known locations, and creating wikipedia articles on the company.—Keri Thompson