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Month: July 2014

Welcome Preservation Intern, Kathryn Boodle!

This post was written by Vanessa Haight Smith, head of Preservation Services.

This year Kathryn Boodle has been awarded the Smithsonian Libraries Professional Development Internship in Preservation.  She arrived this week at the Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Department directly upon graduating from the MA program in the Conservation of Art on Paper and Books and Archival Material at the Camberwell College of Arts in London.

Jeremy Deller’s Artists’ Book “After the Gold Rush”

Cover of Jeremy Deller's "After the Gold Rush"
Cover of Jeremy Deller’s “After the Gold Rush” juxtaposes old with new.

Jeremy Deller (British, 1966-) has been known for his art work that pulls his audience into actively discussing and confronting political, social, and historical issues. His video work English Magic (2012), on view now until August 2014 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is an example of this dynamic. The film was selected for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale as the film served as a representation of British history through its interlacing imagery of the nation’s past and present.

The Fall of a Mighty Empire: The Passenger Pigeon

The story of the last Passenger Pigeon and the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment. To help tell their story, the Smithsonian LibrariesBiodiversity Heritage Library, and the National Museum of Natural History have curated a joint exhibit entitled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America which opened June 24 in the National Museum of Natural History. 

Two hundred years ago, the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was the most abundant bird species in North America. A population numbering in the billions, as much as 40% of all land birds on the continent shared the same genome as Martha. Migrating flocks were so large that they literally blocked out the sky, stretching up to a mile wide and 300 miles long and taking 14 hours to pass a single point. Flocks were so densely packed that a single shot could bring down dozens of birds. The beat of up to 3.5 billion pairs of wings literally created its own cold front below, and those unaccustomed to the marvel feared the end of the world was upon them.

New opportunity for educators!

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the new Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards! These awards allow mid-career educators to be in residence and utilize the Smithsonian Libraries distinctive collections, focusing on science, history, culture and arts.  The awards are open to middle & high school teachers, college teachers, and museum educators working on curriculum development or publications in print or electronic form.


Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds Two Members

bhllogoThe Biodiversity Heritage Library, headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries, welcomes the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Ill.) and Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) as new partners. These two institutions will contribute to the digitization of historical science literature in the BHL collections. All material will be online, free, and available to the public.