The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Archives
- Blank on Blank creatively animates selected the interviews from the Joe Smith Collection at the Library of Congress. [via Library of Congress blog]
- In case you missed it, this past Wednesday was Museum Selfie Day! [via The Guardian]
- Better watch out TIFF, the JPEG standard will now support 12-bit color depth and loseless compression. [via PetaPixel]
- Got some ancestors from New York City? Well you're in luck as Ancestry.com and the New York City Municipal Archives have partnered to make 10 million birth, marriage and death records available online. [via InfoDocket]
- Another great resource to tap into if you have audiovisual materials in your collections, the AV Artifact Atlas, a community-based project that identifies and documents the technical issues and anomalies that can affect audio and video signals. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- Congratulations! The Biodiversity Heritage Library releases their first ibook, Every Week is Shark Week. [via Unbound, SIL]
- A video comparison of London in 1927 to London in 2013. [via Colossal]
On the evening of January 22, 1964, the Smithsonian hosted an A-List party to dedicate its newest museum, the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History. The building was the dream of its first director, Frank A. Taylor, who had joined the National Museum staff after high school, and after graduate school, advanced to Curator, Director, and Director General of all Smithsonian museums. When Taylor returned from World War II, he recalled in an oral history interview, the exhibits in the old National Museum buildings looked shabby and out of date. He first led an Exhibits Modernization Program, which oversaw the renovation of all the National Museum's exhibits from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. The new exhibits attracted new interest in the Institution among the U. S. Congress and donors. The Smithsonian had been attempting to establish a separate history museum since the 1920s, but had met with little support. Taylor initially sought to build a museum of technology, like the Deutsches Museum in Germany, but was convinced to include plans for a museum of American history. With the support of the new Secretary, Leonard Carmichael, legislation was signed into law on June 31, 1956, creating the new museum. The first modern building on the National Mall, the new museum opened with ten exhibit halls completed, with an additional fifty opening in the following years.
Former history teacher and Smithsonian supporter President Lyndon Johnson dedicated the building on January 22, at a black tie party attended by Members of Congress, philanthropists, Smithsonian Regents, and many other distinguished guests. The party was not without its hiccups, Taylor recalled. The U. S. Secret Service was present since the President was speaking, and they sprang into action when someone accidently bumped against the stage light switch and turned it off. Shortly thereafter, the wife of a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents could no longer see her husband on stage. He was recovering from a serious heart attack, so she alerted the Secret Service, who once again sprang into action, only to find he had moved his seat a bit and was hidden behind another person. But overall the party was a great success, setting the stage for the Secretary-elect S. Dillon Ripley, who assumed office that week and oversaw the Institution's great period of growth from 1964 to 1984.
The Museum opened to the public on January 23rd, and in the first weekend, 54,000 people visited the new Museum. The new halls included the Flag Hall, First Ladies' Hall, and the halls of Everyday Life in the American Past, American Costume, Farm Machinery, Light Machinery, Tools, Vehicles, Railroads, as well as a temporary exhibition presenting examples of exhibits to be installed in other halls of the building.
So we send out congratulations for a happy 50th anniversary to the National Museum of American History and all the staff and volunteers who have made it a success in the past five decades!
- National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Record Unit 285 - National Museum of History and Technology, Office of the Director, Photographs, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Record Unit 9512 - Oral history interviews with Frank A. Taylor 1974, 1979-1980, 1982, 2005, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- The gauntlet has been thrown, who wore it best comes to life at the Archives of American Art. [via Archives of American Art blog]
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to say the least. The discovery of an interview of P. L. Travers, author of a series of novels featuring Mary Poppins. [via Library of Congress blog]
- Who knew what would come of some little seeds? The story of the Guinea Bean plant, its 50 foot journey to the top of the Arts and Industries Building, and 5 foot long gourds. [via Smithsonian Gardens blog]
- Just a little off . . . A news assistant discovered that The New York Times issue numbers had been off by 500 since 1898. [via The Atlantic]
- My how far we've come, 50 years ago the Library of Congress installed their first computer in the newly established Data Processing Office. [via Library of Congress blog]
- Animation rare book style, check out this fore-edge painted book from the Special Collections and Archives at the University of Iowa. [via Special Collections and Archives, University of Iowa tumblr]
- Snow days in DC are not the most frequent occurence, but when they do happen it is not just people who enjoy it, but also the animals at the National Zoo and its Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia who enjoy the snow. [viaThe Torch, SI]
- Nelson Mandela passed away last week at the age of 95. Check out some of his video appearances on C-SPAN. [via InfoDocket]
- Also if you are at the National Museum of African Art you can also sign a condolence book for Nelson Mandela that will after today be sent to Mandela’s family in South Africa. [via Around the Mall blog, Smithsonian Magazine]
- Up and running . . . Historian of the National Archives, Jessie Kratz, is keeping busy documenting the history of the National Archives. [AOTUS blog, NARA]
- A retrospective of the work of photographer Eliot Elisofon is now on view in Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon at the National Museum of African Art. [via Around the Mall blog, Smithsonian Magazine]
- Recently acquired in 2012, Constantino Brumidi's Study for the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building can be viewed on the second floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Check out this video that explores the symbolism in the painting as well as highlights discoveries made during conservation. [via Eye Level blog, SAAM]
- Now on view at the National Archives is the exhibition, Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage, which presents the story of the dramatic recovery of 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents from a flooded basement in the headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein’s secret police. [via AOTUS blog, NARA]
- We hope you are ready for it, Innovation is coming to the Arts and Industries Building !!!
- Advice on how to do family history research, part 1. [via New York Times]
- Historic costumes are on exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library, historic smell and all. [via The Collation blog, Folger Shakespeare Library]
- A warm welcome to Folklife Today, the new blog of the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center.
- May the WARC be with you, searching for the true meaning of web archiving. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- By now most of us are familiar with the variety of memes that can spread across the web like a virus, however this same type of spread of information can also be found in the 19th century albeit through different channels. [via MapLab, Wired]
- For more about the Iraqi Jewish Archive, check out the video below.
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