The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
- Still recovering - The University of Missouri Library still has 160,000 out of 600,000 books that remain to be treated after a mold outbreak in 2013. [via InfoDocket]
- Imagining Spacewalks - An exploration of Tumblr for the National Air and Space Museum exhibition, Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extravehicular Activity . [via AirSpace blog, NASM]
- From the Ford's Theater comes the website, Remembering Lincoln, which marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln and which includes some of Mary Henry's diarys from the Archives. [via Effie Kapsalis, SIA]
- Helpful information about how to find photos at the New York Public Library and beyond. [via NYPL blog]
- In time for Preservation Week the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services has a handy guide on how to preserve your stuff. [via ACLTS]
- Digital and free - Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum has put online 210,000 images of works of art and Google Art Project now has 3D objects from a variety of museums and galleries, including animal skulls! [via Open Culture and The Verge]
- The National Air and Space Museum will be beginning the STEM in 30 program on April 22, which consists of live, fast-paced, 30-minute webcasts, and is designed to increase interest and engagement in STEM for students. [via NASM]
- The National Archives and Records Administration has digitized its Little Rock Nine film to mark the anniversary of its 1965 Oscar win. [via InfoDocket]
For this next installment of Miscellaneous Adventures, you voted to open Record Unit 50 – Office of the Secretary, Records, 1949-1964, Box 26, Folder Awards - Miscellaneous, 1928-1958. As the title suggests, this is a folder of correspondence with regards to awards given out from 1928 to 1958 that did not fall into any other award category in this collection.
The very first letter in this folder caught my eye instantly. It was a suggestion submitted on September 20, 1951, to the Efficiency Awards Committee for a possible award to be given to Mr. W. C. Hamer, Chief of the Cabinet Shop. Six months earlier, Mr. Hamer had received a request for 5,000 marking blocks with tin label holders from the Division of Mollusks. This type of marking block had been requested and produced in the past, but this time Mr. Hamer suggested eliminating the tin label holder and cutting a groove in the block to hold the label instead. The approved design resulted in a cost savings of almost $350, mainly because of the significantly reduced amount of labor required to create the new marking blocks. If the submission was approved, Mr. Hamer would be eligible to receive a small monetary award.
Also contained in this folder is correspondence relating to awards that were not given out. For instance, there is a letter from Secretary Leonard Carmichael to Mr. H. M. Trent, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Engineering Award, providing a response to Mr. Trent's request for a candidate from the Smithsonian for the award. In Secretary Carmichael's letter he states that the Smithsonian does not have a suitable candidate to submit for the 1955 Engineering Award, but that there is an individual who might make a good candidate in the next three or four years. The notes attached to the response state that the prospective candidate had not yet published a paper in the engineering field, and therefore he would not have a good chance of winning the award so Secretary Carmichael decided to delay his submission until the candidate was ready.
The last set of material pertains to the establishment by Congress of the Medal for Distinguished Civilian Achievement. The folder contains a draft of the bill "incorporating recommendations agreed to by the Committee on Civilian National Honors." The medal was to be given to people who had outstanding accomplishments in the fields of public affairs, social betterment, health and medicine, arts, law, and agriculture, among others. The bill also contained a section to establish a board of five members who would recommend up to five people to the President of the United States who met the designated criteria for the reward. After going through revisions, the bill was voted upon favorably by the House of Representatives and passed on to the Senate in July 1958.
- Vote Folder A for Accession 91-176 - John J. Wurdack Papers, c. 1949-1986, Box 1, Folder Miscellaneous, 1965
- Vote Folder B for Accession 02-027 - Freer Gallery of Art Superintendent of Construction, Correspondence, 1913-1936, Box 1, Folders Letters Regarding Miscellaneous Jobs, 1920-1934
- Past Miscellaneous Adventures posts, The Bigger Picture blog, Smithsonian Institution Archives