The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Science
- Awesome news - NARA has a new, updated National Archives Catalog, to help make it easier for people to search and find records in their collections. [via NARAtions blog, NARA]
- The Digital Einstein Papers launched last week, making available the collected papers of Albert Einstein, including a letter he wrote to Marie Curie supporting her and giving counsel on how to deal with her critics. [via Open Culture]
- The last of the Hidden Collections awards were given out by the Council on Library and Information Resources. The awards were created in 2008 and is supported by ongoing funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program has awarded 129 grants totaling about $27.3 million and has allowed repositoties to process and make available collections that were previously hidden. [via InfoDocket]
- The report is out - The FADGI (Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group) report on "Creating and Archiving Born Digital Video" was released this week, and the Archives was one of the contributors. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- Science lesson for the week - Five major advances in scientific knowledge that have occurred since the National Museum of Natural History opened in 1910. [via Unearthed blog, NMNH]
- Available now - Two new online exhibitions from the Biodiversity Heritage Library - Early Women in Science and Latino Natural History. [via Field Book Project blog, NMNH and SIA]
- Watch as paleontologists discover Sue, who at 42 feet long and weighing nearly 4,000 pounds, is the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. [via Underwire, Wired]
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the first Nobel Prize awarded in 1901. The recipients that year were:
- Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (physics) "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him"
- Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (chemistry) "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions"
- Sully Prudhomme (Literature) "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect"
- Emil Adolf von Behring (physiology or medicine) "for his work on serum therapy, especially its application against diphtheria, by which he has opened a new road in the domain of medical science and thereby placed in the hands of the physician a victorious weapon against illness and deaths."
- Jean Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy (Peace)
The first woman to receive the prestigious award was Marie Curie, who was awarded twice with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In the history of the Nobel Prize, out of the 889 Nobel Prizes laureates, only 46 have been women. As Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette points out in her recent piece for the Hillman Photography Initiative, the small numbers don't represent the actual contributions women have made. LaFollette examines the culture surrounding physical chemist Rosalind Elsie Franklin, who was the first person to image DNA structure.
Without Franklin's knowledge, Maurice Wilkins, one of Franklin's colleagues, shared her photograph with two other scientists also researching DNA, James Watson and Maurice Crick. Because of their interpretation of the image, the three men went on to win the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA; basically an interpretation Franklin had hypothesized in 1952. For many years, Franklin was left out of the history books when it came to this historic discovery. As LaFollette describes, "Credit should go to the flyboys, the creative geniuses, not the others. 'Technical stuff' was 'woman's work.'"
In honor of this anniversary, we'd like to highlight the women scientists in our collections who have broken boundaries to capture the elusive Noble Prize. We also include one woman, Austrian-born physicist, Lise Meitner, who was overlooked when her colleague, Otto Hahn, won the Noble Prize for the discovery of nuclear fission in 1945.
- Women Scientists in the Smithsonian Institution Archives Collections on Flickr Commons
- "Woman's Work: How Rosalind Franklin's 'Photo 51' Told Us the Truth about Ourselves," by Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, Hillman Photography Initiative
- "There are Prizes...and There are Winners," by Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, Bigger Picture
- "Is the Nobel Prize a boys mostly club?," National Public Radio
- Last week we had Abraham Lincoln's life mask 3D scanned, this week it is President Obama's turn to be scanned. [via Smithsonian Science]
- Check it out - Woman's Work: How Rosalind Franklin's 'Photo 51' Told Us the Truth about Ourselves, by the Archives' Research Fellow, Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette. [via Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art]
- Thanks H.R. 1233! - President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1233, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 that among other things modernizes records management by focusing more directly on electronic records. [via InfoDocket]
- Voices forgotten to the past are heard again thanks to IRENE, a high-tech turntable that spins records while a 3D camera takes high-resolution pictures of the microscopic scratches etched into the record's grooves. [via WBUR]
- What It Means to Be American - The National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square embark on a three-year long project to delve into American identity. [via O Say Can You See? blog, NMAH]
- For the AV archivists out there - Comparing formats for video digitization. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- It takes a village - What it takes to get Edouard Manet's painting Spring (Jeanne Demarsy) from delivery to being on exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum. [via The Getty Iris]
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