The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
- The Smithsonian welcomes Dr. David Skorton as its 13th Secretary! [via The Torch, SI]
- This week the National Archives UK received their first born-digital records transfer from a government department which are now available in the online catalog, Discovery. Congrats! [via The National Archives UK News]
- Citizen Archivist Alex Smith is in the spotlight as he talks about his retirement project of helping the National Archives transcribe records in their collections. [via The National Archives Narrations blog]
- Now you know - Two news spaces are open at the National Museum of American History - Inventing in America (Exhibition includes patent models, prototypes, trademark examples and inventions to illustrate the ways that the United States has always depended on invention) and a new demonstration kitchen will host "Food Fridays" to connect food programming to the ideas of invention and innovation. [via SI Newsdesk]
- Snap away - First Lady Michelle Obama lifts the 40-year old ban on White House tour photos. [via The Verge]
- Discover the joy of vintage advertisements with The New York Times and their transcription project, Madison, which asks uses to tag and transcribe ads from the 1920s and 1960s. [via Core77]
- The Americans With Disabilities Act turns 25 this month. [via O Say Can You See?, NMAH]
- In the video below you see the exacting 10-month conservation of Charles Le Brun’s painting of Everhard Jabach and His Family. [via Colossal]
Geologist Hendrik Albertus Brouwer (1886-1973), on the left in the picture, was the head of the geology department at University of Amsterdam, where his research focused on structural geology and mineralogy. This photograph was taken while he was conducting research in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, most likely in 1935.
In 1936, Brouwer published two articles on the geology of Yellowstone National Park. In one of these ("On the Structure of the Rhyolites in Yellowstone Park," The Journal of Geology, November-December 1936), he stated that during July and August of 1935 he had joined up with researchers who had been conducting research in the Yellowstone-Beartooth-Bighorn region for several years. He mentioned Princeton University professor W. Taylor Thom and Yellowstone's chief naturalist Clyde Max Bauer, and also acknowledged assistance from three students - H. Jansen of the University of Amsterdam, W. H. Pecora of Princeton University, and A. Howard of Columbia University.
The other person shown in the photograph was not identified in any accompanying materials.
Can you help the Smithsonian Institution Archives identify the young man on the right? Was he perhaps one of the geology students?
- Science Service collections at the Smithsonian Institution Archives
The Archives is made up of wonderful, helpful, and hard working individuals who strive to acquire, preserve, and make accessible records that document the history of the Smithsonian Institution. Some of our staff have been at the Smithsonian for 30 plus years, while others are just beginning their tenure here. There will be some changes in the office as we welcome new staff members coming on board this summer who bring their expertise and new ideas to the Archives.
Continuing our series on introducing new staff, I'd like to welcome our new Preservation Coordinator, Alison Reppert Gerber.
What's your educational background?
I received my undergraduate degree in Art History with minors in Chemistry and Religious Studies from Seton Hill University and my graduate degree in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
What do you do at the Smithsonian Institution Archives?
I am the preservation coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution Archives. I work to ensure our collection is preserved through the use of proper housing, environmental monitoring, assessment, and emergency preparedness. This allows our unique materials to be available for the continued use by the institution, researchers, and the general public.
What is the strangest/most interesting thing you have discovered at the Archives so far?
I would have to say the most fascinating thing I've come across so far has been Charles D. Walcott's panoramic photographs of the Canadian Rockies, part of Record Unit 7004 - Charles D. Walcott Collection. These are not only stunningly beautiful, but also showcase early photography methods and document, for the first time, the typography of the mountain range. An excellent example of art and science!
What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned about working here?
The most unexpected thing has been the breadth of material in our care. There are so many different arms to the Smithsonian and we are entrusted with many of their records, ranging from the mundane to fascinating! You just never know what you'll encounter.
Favorite spot in DC to recommend to visitors?
My favorite spot has to be the National Museum of Women in the Arts because it is the only major museum in the world that highlights and celebrates the achievements of female artists, who would otherwise be overshadowed by their male counterparts.
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