Hot Topics in Archival Research, Fall 2017

We highlight a few topics explored by SIA researchers in the summer of 2017.

William Francis Giauque (1895-1982) Vicarious research is one of the great joys of the reference desk at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. From our front-row (well, only-row) seat outside the reading room, we catch tantalizing glimpses of our patrons’ manifold research topics.

The reference team fields around 6,000 queries per year. Ask us what people have been researching recently, and you'll get into some of the enlightening, weird, and fascinating details of collections at the Smithsonian Institutive Archives. Here is a sample of the diverse questions our researchers have been exploring for the past few months!

Sharks Off Southeast Island Over the past three months, researchers have delved into:

Permissions for upcoming publications using our photos or documents include: Nature's Jewels: A Living Exhibit of Butterflies and Orchids

  • Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, photograph of author Caroline Wells Healey Dall for the fall issue of “Lincoln Lore”
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science, photograph from the Operation Crossroads expedition for their zoology collections’ exhibition space
  • Nobel Media Institute, photograph of Nobel laureate William Francis Giauque for use on social media platforms
  • Diana North, photograph of Agnes Mary Claypole Moody for forthcoming book California at War: The State and the People during World War I

Most creative use of collections:

  • Planning a research trip to Washington, a patron wrote to ask if the Smithsonian maintains architectural drawings and building plans of the museums on the Mall. This was no ordinary architectural research, however: he was looking to reconstruct the National Mall out of LEGO bricks.
  • Smithsonian LEGO aficionados will note that a LEGO Castle built to scale once stood on display inside of its larger, stone version.

Related Resources

Reference services at the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Hot Topics in Archival Research, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Hot Topics in Archival Research, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Hot Topics in Archival Research, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives

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