The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Science
- Happy Halloween! No doubt in some way your life will be touched by candy today. In honor of that here's a look at the history of prepackaged candy. [via O Say Can You See? blog, NMAH]
- Halloween cards abound in the New York Public Library's collections. [via NYPL blog]
- An all too common condition, missing metadata - CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is asking for people's help in identifying scientists, equipment and projects being working on in images from their photograph archives. [via PetaPixel]
- Thousands of unseen lunar images will come to light and be in the public domain as part of the Surveyor Digitization Project. [via InfoDocket]
- Listen up - The Archive of Contemporary Music and the Internet Archive team up to create a music library. [via Internet Archive Blogs]
- Stanford Libraries makes available the earliest known website in the United States from 1991 for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. [via Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig, SIA]
- An important question to be answered on Halloween - Can Cats Really Make Rats into Zombies? [via Smithsonian Magazine]
For our next Miscellaneous Adventure, you chose to open up Record Unit 548, the National Museum of Natural History’s Division of Meteorites Correspondence Records. This collection contains incoming and outgoing correspondence and memoranda documenting the operations of the Division of Meteorites from 1970-1988.
On October 15, 1963, the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Geology split into the Department of Mineral Sciences and the Department of Paleobiology. The new Department of Mineral Sciences had three divisions: Mineralogy, Meteorites, and Petrology. The new division of meteorites had an active staff eager to track down specimens throughout the world. This is evident in their correspondence. When you open the collection boxes, folders labeled with the names of countries around the world and the word miscellaneous peek out from within. Upon opening these folders it is easy to see the prolific efforts of staff, including Brian H. Mason, curator; Roy S. Clarke, Jr., curator; and Kurt Fredriksson, curator and geochemist. The many letters in the folders discuss the identification and acquisition of specimens, research projects, and other professional activities, providing insight into how we have tracked meteorites around the world.
Two of the larger folders in the collection were "India – Miscellaneous" and "Australia – Miscellaneous." The correspondence includes conversations about specimen recovery from the Dhajala meteorite shower and a search to locate rare Tasmanian tektites. But this time, instead of picking out a letter and telling you all about it, I have decided to let you join on the adventure. To uncover what interesting meteorite mysteries await, head over to the Smithsonian's Transcription Center to rifle through the folders containing correspondence from Australia and India. While you are there, you can try out transcribing the correspondence and find out more about meteorites found in India and Australia. Don't forget to let us know what interesting things you find on your Miscellaneous Mysteries of the Universe adventure by commenting on this post, our Facebook page, or the Transcription Center’s page. Best of luck and have fun!
As for our next adventure let us know what you would like to see next:
- Record Unit 548 - National Museum of Natural History, Division of Meteorites, Correspondence Records, circa 1970-1988, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- I see you - a new satellite image of the National Portrait Gallery portrait commission, One of Many, One, by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. [via AirSpace blog, NASM]
- Yes, you heard right, the Smithsonian is on its way to raising $1.5 Billion to support its museums, research centers, and programs. [via The Torch, SI]
- Getting toned, book style - Toning Japanese paper hinges for reattaching boards to leather bindings. [via Unbound blog, Smithsonian Libraries]
- Announced this week - The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison will reside at Princeton University Library. [via InfoDocket]
- Not just go-go or punk - The new D.C. Vernacular Music Archive at George Washington University encompasses the variety of music found in our nation's capital. [via DCist]
- Challenge accepted - Flickr created a site to tell you if your picture has a park or a bird in it in response to a challenge laid out in the XKCD webcomic. [via PetaPixel]
- A new tool is coming from Rhizome that allows you preserve the dynamic content found on social media sites called Colloq. [via Bits blog, The New York Times]
- Walk in the steps of Jane Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute and Google teamed up to bring their Street View Trekker cameras to Gombe National Park in Tanzania and allow you to explore and experience it. [via PetaPixel]