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Category: Digitization

I See Wonder: Guiding Inquiry and Expanding Access

This post was written by Victoria Cunningham, summer intern in the Smithsonian Libraries’ Education office.

This summer I had the pleasure of working on a team of interns under the direction of Education Specialist Sara Cardello to further expand the I See Wonder collection for the Smithsonian Libraries. I See Wonder is an excellent tool for teachers of all grades to help further extend students’ natural curiosity of the world. Children and teens are able to look at photographs and either verbally or in written form express what they see and then take it a step further and discuss what they wonder about the photograph. Teachers are then able to guide the students’ thinking and have them dig deeper to justify their reasoning or expand upon their wonderings. This natural way of learning helps students to develop a deeper understanding of topics through guided inquiry, versus being told exactly what they are supposed to learn.

One intern’s trip around the World’s Fairs

–This post was written by Jenna Fattah, a Summer 2017 intern at the American Art & Portrait Gallery Library. She is a junior at Indiana University Bloomington studying History. She hopes to continue on to get her Masters in Library Science. Interested in interning with Smithsonian Libraries? Check out our internship opportunities for Spring 2018.

AAPG World's Fair book spines
AAPG World’s Fair book spines

As an American Art & Portrait Gallery Library intern, I was lucky to spend my summer surrounded by books, art, and bibliophiles. My largest project took me about two months to complete, but it was well worth it. When you type “World’s Fair” into the Smithsonian Library’s catalog, SIRIS, almost 1,600 items come up. Of those, almost 1,200 are original artifacts published for or by the sponsors or committees of the different World’s Fairs.

The Fix: Preservation and “Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head”

Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head by Alexander Cozens was published in 1778 by James Dixwell in London. It is a large book measuring 55 by 38 centimeters (21.5 by 15 inches) and is part of the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library collection. It came to the Book Conservation Lab as part of Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program.

The content includes printed drawings of women’s heads and their various facial features. For example, there is one page dedicated to different shaped eyes and another dedicated to different shaped noses. The final 17 pages are especially impressive. They are printed with different shaped women’s faces shown in profile without hair. There are 17 tissue paper overlays each printed with a different hairstyle that can be placed over the pages of the women’s heads, allowing the reader to compare hairstyles to see how they look on different shaped faces. It is amusing to see something being done in a book in the 18th century that can still be done on your smartphone today.

 

New Dazzling Diversity Exhibition Open Now!

This post was written by Abigail Espiritu, a summer intern focusing on social media and the Libraries’ blog. This fall, Abigail will be entering her freshmen year at the University of Maryland where she will be majoring in journalism.

On August 8th, 2017, the Smithsonian Libraries opened their newest exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Dazzling Diversity: The Insect World. The exhibition is located on the Ground Floor of the museum, showcasing a selection of the Libraries’ very own books that go along with the “Dazzling Diversity” insect display featured in Objects of Wonder on the second floor of NMNH.

Newly Digitized: Japanese Illustrated Books from the Edo and Meiji Periods (1600-1912)

The Freer | Sackler Library of the Smithsonian Libraries have completed digitizing over 1100 volumes/41500 images from its collection of illustrated Japanese woodblock-printed books and manuscripts from the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912). The Libraries’ digitization project was generously funded by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.

Information Matters Lecture: Education and Training Across the Digital Curation Spectrum

Join us Thursday, June 15th at 2pm ET in the S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall for a discussion on preparing the workforce for digital curation with Margaret Hedstrom. Dr. Hedstrom, the Robert M. Warner Collegiate Professor of Information Professor of Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, will speak on her work in the field and as recent chair of the Committee on Future Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements for Digital Curation for the National Research Council.