Clay Shirky Lecture Postponed

Today's scheduled lecture by Clay Shirky in NMNH's Kerby Room will be postponed due to a family emergency. We apologize for the inconvenience and will announce a new date and time shortly.

The Art of African Exploration

In the town of Ujiji in what is now Tanzania, Henry Morton Stanley, sent by a New York newspaper to track down the missing Dr. David Livingstone, finally found the man on this day, November 10, in 1871. Many had believed the ailing missionary and explorer to be dead.  Their meeting has become legendary – even in its day it was the focus of media attention.  African exploration was a hot topic in the Victorian era in both the U.S. and Britain, capitivating the public’s imagination with tales of adventure and discovery and paving the way for the West’s colonialist claims on the continent.  In a forthcoming SI Libraries exhibition, set to open December 9th at the National Museum of Natural History, African exploration is examined using an array of visual materials that emerged from that critical and complex time.  All but a few of the items on display come from the Russell E. Train Africana Collection (kept in the Cullman Library), a collection rich in illustrated and original materials.  Included in the exhibit are more »

Clay Shirky to speak in Future of Libraries, Museums and Archives series

Clay Shirky Finding Content as a Social Problem ~POSTPONED~ The lecture has been postponed.  Please check back for new date and time!this lecture will also be recorded and the video available a few days later at the following URL:http://www.sil.si.edu/lectures_40th_Shirky.html Clay Shirky is an adjunct professor in New York University's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology — how our networks shape culture and vice-versa.  Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Mr. Shirky has written extensively about the internet since 1996, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, Wired, Release 1.0, Computerworld, and IEEE Computer.  His latest book is Here Comes Everybody: The Power of more »

R. David Lankes to speak in Future of Libraries, Museums and Archives series

R. David Lankes Not Done Yet: Charting a New Course for Librarianship November 3, 2008 10:00-Noon, Ripley Center, Lecture Hall, Room 3027 ~~the lecture will also be webcast live ~~ http://www.sil.si.edu/lectures_40th_Lankes.html R. David Lankes is currently Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse and an associate professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.  He has spoken and written widely about bridging the gap between the theory of library science and the practice of users through his concept of “participatory librarianship.”  Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society.  He has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies.  He has been appointed as a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, the Harvard School of Education and the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. On the occasion of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ 40th anniversary, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL), Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and the Office more »

Roy Tennant to speak in Future of Libraries, Museums and Archives series

Roy Tennant Libraries in a Networked World October 23, 2008 10:00-Noon, Ripley Center, Lecture Hall, Room 3027 ~~the lecture will also be webcast live ~~ http://www.sil.si.edu/lectures_40th_Tennant.html Roy Tennant is an internationally known speaker and writer on library and information technology issues.  He is currently Senior Program Officer for OCLC Programs and Research where he provides expertise and advice on scholarly expectations and research information needs of OCLC institutions to maximize their impact and effectiveness for their respective institutions.  While working for the California Digital Library, Roy was instrumental in the development and deployment of the eScholarship Repository and the eScholarship Editions publishing services.  Roy’s recent book, Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow, is the latest of several of his publications on digital library technologies and management. On the occasion of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ 40th anniversary, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL), Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) present another in a series of speakers to address the Institution on more »

SIL Joins LibraryThing

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is pleased to announce its participation in Library Thing. This free online service was originally created to help people catalog their own books more easily and has become a great way to link readers to books, interests and each other. Combining the best of a commercial bookseller’s website and a typical library catalog, Library Thing takes book browsing to another level. It’s a fun and useful tool to work alongside the SIRIS catalog, not replace it, and connects users to the people and books that have helped build SIL. Users can now explore the personal library of James Smithson or the “Heralds of Science” collection of Bern Dibner on Library Thing. Smithson and Dibner join the likes of Leonardo daVinci, Charles Darwin and Benjamin Franklin in the “Legacy Libraries” section which contains inventories of the book collections of notable figures. Researchers can also utilize Library Thing by selecting records from SIRIS (one of 690 catalogs already integrated) to create personalized bibliographies or book lists. Users can more »

Levi Hill’s Treatise on Heliochromy

As film photography becomes more and more a thing of the past, the pioneering works that examined what could be achieved with chemicals, paper, glass and light become more important and valuable.  Michelle Delaney, associate curator of the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), has been working with several others, including staff at the Getty Conservation Institute, to examine a little-studied and long-disputed process some believe to be the earliest example of color photography. Focusing on a collection of Levi Hill’s own "Hillotypes" (a kind of daguerreotype) at NMAH, their collaboration has uncovered some intriguing facts about Hill’s process, and answered many of the unknowns.  You can read more about the project here and here. Delaney alerted us to the sale of Hill’s Treatise on Heliochromy, and describes the book as "a truly significant book in the history of photography."  It provides an important complement to their current research and to the Smithsonian’s collection of rare Hillotypes, and we are happy to now have it more »

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