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Month: January 2014

Digital Collections Report and Webinar Features Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library is profiled in Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections, a major study funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and conducted by Ithaka S+R in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries. The study shares good practices for teams planning for and managing digitized resources.

Best of Both Worlds Video

On January 15, the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer presented the first talk of a new lecture series, The Open Access Future, to address the Smithsonian Institution on the future of libraries, museums, and archives in a digital world. In 2014, the series will feature speakers with expertise in topics such as scholarly publishing, research data curation and communication, and altmetrics.

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2015

Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record of the past. The Libraries is uniquely positioned to help scholars understand the continuing vitality of this relationship, via exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals.

The Importance of Conserving Books

By Richard Barden

As the Manager for Preservation Services at the National Museum of American History, I oversee and direct the work of the Museum’s three conservation laboratories (Costume/Textiles, Objects, and Paper) and direct the preservation activities of the museum. This year, I was selected to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s Palmer Leadership Development Program. As part of the program, I am required to work at another Smithsonian unit for 20 to 30 days while performing my normal duties. The program aims to expand my knowledge and abilities through performing new tasks as well as expanding my overall knowledge of the Smithsonian.

Joseph Dimuro, Baird Society Resident Scholar

When asked about his summer research on the Ferris wheel, Resident Scholar Joseph Dimuro’s eyes gleamed like a child who had just ridden one for the first time. He replied, “Not just any Ferris wheel – the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition Ferris Wheel in Chicago: the major engineering feat and symbol of America at the end of the 19th Century.”

The Fix – Post Binding

Last year a book came into the Book Conservation Lab as part of the Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program. The book, Systema Entomological by Heinrich Buchecker, was in two distinct pieces – text and plates.  The color lithographic plates, depicting dragonflies, were printed on paper that is a higher quality than the text. Unfortunately, the text is printed on highly acidic paper that has become brittle with age. Usually the decision to post bind is a difficult one.  Book conservators strive to retain as much of the original binding as possible in their work.  A post binding is a last resort solution for books with extremely brittle paper – allowing them to remain in use to the researcher.  As this set came to us unbound, the decision was easier to make.