Report for the ALA conference

I’m attending the annual ALA conference in Anaheim, where we’re enjoying welcome relief from Washington’s hot, muggy air.  ALA is so big that every attendee is going to have a highly individual view.  I only arrived yesterday (Friday) afternoon, but already I have several meetings under my belt. My focus this time is largely on international activities, given my current role as a member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and as chair of it’s Professional Committee.  So yesterday I sat in on the meeting of ALA’s International Relations Committee, where there were numerous reports on how the association is reaching out to colleagues around the world. I joined Sjoerd Koopman, IFLA’s Coordinator of Professional Activities, in reporting on what IFLA was doing in many areas of the developing world to advocate for libraries and freedom of information. IFLA has just published a world report on the status of intellectual freedom in over 100 countries.  IFLA is also helping to rebuild the library more »

WiFi @ SIL

Smithsonian Libraries is very happy to announce that we can now offer both SI staff and visiting researchers wireless access to the internet in 11 of our library locations! So, if you are coming to visit us in person at any of these libraries, you can bring your laptop! Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library (New York, NY)Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library (Washington, DC)John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology (Washington DC)Joseph F. Cullman 3rd, Library of Natural History (Washington, D.C.)Museum Support Center Library (Suitland, MD)National Museum of American History Library (Washington, DC)National Museum of Natural History Library – main reading rooms (Washington, DC)Smithsonian American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library (Washington, DC)Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (Edgewater, MD)Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library (Republic of Panama)Vine Deloria Jr. Library, National Museum of the American Indian  (Suitland, MD)

The Botanist’s Desire: Botanica Magnifica Redux

Back in May I posted a story about the exhibition of Botanica Magnifica in the Smithsonian Libraries’ exhibition cases in the National Museum of Natural History. Well, in this month’s Fine Books & Collections Magazine, Botanical Magnifica is featured in the cover story, "The Botanist’s Desire" by Jonathan Shipley (No. 34, July/August 2008). In addition to a number of reproductions from the work, the article describes the process used by photographer Jonathan Singer in creating the work. Smithsonian botany curator John Kress also discusses the importance of the work.

Portraits of Scientists and Inventors

A little preview of Smithsonian Libraries images. These are available on the Smithsonian Flickr Commons as well as on the Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

Smithsonian Libraries on Flickr

The Smithsonian joins the Flickr Commons project on June 16! The Smithsonian Libraries provided a selection of photographic portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. These portraits, part of a larger collection of over a 1,000 portraits in various media. The entire collection is available online at Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. The Flickr Commons project provided Smithsonian more »

Alexia MacClain Wins Gala Tickets

I am happy to announce that Alexia MacClain, SIL staff member at the National Museum of American History, was the winner of the trivia contest held at the Libraries’ 40th anniversary celebration in April at the Smithsonian Castle.  Her name was drawn from among all those who had answered the questions correctly.  She won two free tickets to the SIL "Paint the Town REaD!" ruby gala, to be held on October 30 at the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard in the Donald W. Reynolds Center.  Congratulations, Alexia!                        — Nancy Gwinn

Mark Catesby’s America

David Elliott, Nancy Gwinn, Leslie Overstreet, and Cynthia Neal2008-06-09-dscn4174Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic Smithsonian Libraries presented "Mark Catesby’s America: Symposium and Panel Discussion" on June 9, 2008. The symposium featured Dr. Storrs Olson (National Museum of Natural History), D. Therese O’Malley (National Gallery of Art), and Leslie Overstreet (Curator of Natural History Rare Books, Smithsonian Institution Libraries). Dr. Alan Feduccia, professor of Biology and Department Chair at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, presented the keynote address, "Mark Catesby and his Natural History of Carolina … : an Introduction and perspective." The event, held at the Freer Gallery of Art, was attended by over 150 guests. Following the symposium, the audience was treated to the Washington premier of The Curious Mr. Catesby. The documentary film, introduced by producers David J. Elliott and Cynthia Neal. The film, an excellent overview to the life and work of Catesby, features Leslie Overstreet and the Cullman Library. A reception followed at the Freer Gallery of Art. View images from the Smithsonian Libraries’ copy of more »

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