The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Link Love: 5/27/2011
by Catherine Shteynberg on May 27, 2011
- We’ve written a post before about Stubby the dog, a distinguished hero of World War I held in the collections of the National Museum of American History. Read this great detailed profile on Stubby at the American History Museum’s blog.
- Need to know how to build a monkey trap, or how to avoid eating poisonous plants? Our resident Smithsonian Historian at the Archives contributes to a blog post on Survival on Land and Sea, a pocket-sized, waterproof manual written by Smithsonian scientists during World War II for soldiers and airmen to carry in case they crashed on a deserted island. As an aside, this soldier kept a diary in his Survival handbook after his crash and subsequent seventeen-day walk out of China.
- Proving animal romance wrong. It’s kind of deflating, but amusing nonetheless—Scientific American proves that a story from its archive about a male gazelle committing suicide after his beloved mate dies, just isn’t plausible [via The Atlantic Technology blog].
- Definitions change as the world goes digital. Is Wikipedia a world cultural repository? Wikipedia thinks so, and co-founder Jimmy Wells is petitioning the United Nations for recognition as a world heritage site.
- The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum Archives has a small holding of historical African American newspapers that harbor a wealth of interesting information. The New Negro Alliance, for example, was a Washington, DC weekly newspaper established in 1933 to protest discrimination in employment practices in stores doing business in black neighborhoods.
- The National Archives is eager to get more of its 10 billion (!) records online, and so they’ve turned to crowdsourcing. View their recent program, “Are You In? Citizen Archivists, Crowdsourcing, and Open Government,” which addresses their current crowdsourcing projects, below [via Susannah Wells, SIA]:
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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...