The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Link Love: 11/11/2011
by Catherine Shteynberg on November 11, 2011
- Why objects are important to storytelling: an old fork, “little to distinguish it from the other standard-issue Army silverware” in the National Museum of American History’s collections, leads a researcher to the harrowing tale of starvation and tragedy on the infamous 1881 Greely Expedition in the Arctic.
- A novel by an archivist for archivists (well, actually for anyone). The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, written by professional archivist Caroline Preston, is a period novel written around the writer’s personal collection of 1920s-ear ephemera [via Effie Kapsalis, SIA].
- The Powerhouse Museum describes Trove—an aggregator that provides a meta-search of library and cultural collections across Australia, and hosts a community of historians, genealogists, and enthusiasts that help transcribe documents, connect catalogue records, and add tags.
- And speaking of new tools, the Library of Congress launches Viewshare.org, “a free platform for generating and customizing views, (interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allows users to experience your digital collections.”
- Ever thought of using archives as inspiration for your creative writing? The National Archives taps into their amazing collections to give their top ten tips for writers.
- “78s, Photos, Even Sweat From Brow of a Legend”—the New York Times reports on a recent treasure trove of Louis Armstrong objects donated to the Louis Armstrong House Museum [via Marvin Heiferman].
- I work at the Smithsonian and I am still frequently amazed at the cool research our scientists are up to. Meet Rachel Collin, a staff scientist and director of the Bocas Research Station at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, who studies the evolution of marine gastropods (snails):
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Connecting you to America’s past with a behind-the-scenes exploration of the Smithsonian’s history, treasures, and the challenges that Archives face preserving collections. More details...