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Month: March 2013

Finding Current Research Using Free Online Resources

Image of 1883 microscope
Tolles’s Microscope, from 1883 Boston Optical Works catalog

Even the most experienced scholars can find it difficult to keep up with new research in their fields. So much is being published in journals and online every day that it can be overwhelming. So I’ve put together a list of websites to help you wade through the rising tide of research. These resources are available free to anyone via the Internet and offer useful tools for discovering new research in a wide variety of subject areas.

National Air & Space Museum Library Honors Lafayette Escadrille

NASMCol.RogersA few months ago, a ceremony announced the Libraries’ electronic edition of the Escadrille N.124 Journal de Marche et Operations (i.e., the “combat logs”) of the legendary squadron of American aviators who served in the French Air Force  during World War I, known more affectionately as the Lafayette Escadrille

A Timely Invitation

Exit Art exhib. invite image croppedThis post was contributed by Rita O’Hara, library technician at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery Library.

Rejoining the staff at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden library in mid-January provided synchronistic help to a British PhD Student’s research.  Who would have guessed that my quest to settle in to my new desk at the library would lead to the discovery of an item of intrigue? 

Women in Aviation

“Aircraft” cover featuring Catherine E. Draper.

This post was contributed by Chris Cottrill, Head Librarian, National Air and Space Museum Library.

The first years of early 20th century aviation were a time of rapid technological change in aircraft design and experimental flights.  They were also years of opportunity for some women, to test the rules of polite society by learning to go aloft in these new “flying machines.”  Aviation journals of the day noted that women were interested in aviation in Europe and North America and that some were piloting aircraft up into the sky. Examples of this interest can be seen in the pages of the magazine Aircraft (1910-1915), digitized by the Smithsonian Libraries.

Riding a Streetcar

Image of Combination Car from 1901 J. G. Brill Co. trade catalog entitled Patented Round Corner Seat-End Panel for Open Cars.
Combination Car of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company of New York

Imagine commuting to work on a streetcar like this one! Its open design made it easy to quickly load and off-load passengers, but the disadvantages were quickly felt during rainy weather. This trade catalog by J. G. Brill Co. describes how the patented round corner seat-end panel made open streetcars more pleasant to ride, even on rainy days.