Digital Archives, Records Management, and Organizing Digital Assets at the Zoo

This post was written by Laura Bell, Digital Archives Intern, Smithsonian National Zoological Park (Exhibits Office) and Smithsonian Libraries (Dec. 2017-May 2018).   What do most people picture when they imagine an archive? Probably a grand building with old, precious documents like the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration building in downtown D.C. Some people think of the movie National Treasure. But, not every archive holds centuries-old documents. Some archives are for more »

Fall 2018 Internship Opportunities

The Smithsonian Libraries is currently recruiting for fall internships. We have four projects available – two in our Education department, one that is fully virtual and one that would be a fantastic experience for an aspiring science librarian. Below are additional details. We expect to close applications July 31st, 2018. Full details and application instructions can be found on our webpage: https://library.si.edu/GeneralInternships   Educational Programs (Storytime) Smithsonian Libraries Education Department is looking more »

Join us for “Cultures of the Garden: The Hidden Histories of an American Obsession”

Join us as Dr. Jennifer Atkinson and Dr. Robert S. Emmett explore the garden’s unique role in American history and literature, including ways it has shaped U.S. culture and the arts, social justice movements, environmental advocacy, and other public and private visions of the good life. 5:30pm, Friday, June 22, 2018 S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW Copies of Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy, and Everyday Practice and Cultivating Environmental more »

Connecting the dots: It started with Roxie and the Electra…

I recently discovered an important link between two stories about which I have known for years.  Turns out there is a deep connection between one of my favorite aircraft and a pioneering scientist at the National Museum of Natural History.  The connection appeared while working on a cataloging project, which ended up overlapping with a book that was recommended to me. The book, The Electra Story by John Selding (in Smithsonian Libraries), more »

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color debuts at the Cooper Hewitt

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color debuted at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York, NY) in May 2018. The exhibition explores the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists and philosophers for centuries. Featuring over 190 objects – 44 from Smithsonian Libraries’ collection – Saturated reveals how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement more »

File under: Office Organization, 1908

Every once in a while, we come across a trade catalog in the Trade Literature Collection that has a label on the front cover. Recorded on that label is date and location information, such as drawer number. We do not use labels such as that to shelve catalogs at the National Museum of American History Library, but I have often wondered if that label played a role in the way that particular more »

Design competitions as old as design

Design is for public consumption. Its process is collaborative and frequently involves many iterations of an idea before the best solution is found. This is why contests in design come about so naturally. Design competitions date all the way back to 448 BCE when the city of Athens decided to construct a war memorial on the Acropolis. This decision followed the Greco-Persian war and the watershed Battle of Marathon in Athens. Not all design more »

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