This seemed like a good time to add to my list of favorite or interesting digital items we have in the Archives since it’s been a while and our collections keep growing. This is just a very small sample of many materials in a variety of formats.
- We recently wrote about the digital video and associated files from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory-Science Media Group collections. Not only does the accession contain science education videos, but it also includes some Smithsonian topics as well. The clip, below, is from a Welcome to the Smithsonian video, created for older students and teachers and produced by the Science Media Group at the Observatory in 2008. This part introduces the audience to the National Portrait Gallery and does a great job of highlighting visitor guildelines while incorporating some of the collections.
- The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., opened in September 2004. The Archives has many digital records about the construction process of this curvilinear building as well as other Smithsonian facilities. These 2002 photos show progress of this unique building and the dome before its completion. The views of the U.S. Capitol Building are particularly interesting.
- Did you know there is a song for the Smithsonian? "The Smithsonian Polka" was written in 1855 probably for the opening of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle. The score was composed by W. Bergman, a music teacher, and published by Hilbus and Hitz of Washington, D.C. Here, it is performed by Michael Hendron, a restoration specialist at the Smithsonian.
This clip is part of a collection related to the SIguide project, which was designed in the 2000s to share museum content through mobile devices but never implemented.
Narrator: This song, called the "Smithsonian Polka," was written in 1855, probably to commemorate the opening of the building. The performer is Michael Hendron.
- Museums also can have a lighter side. This press release from the National Museum of Natural History announces the Dinotopia exhibition of artwork in 2002, where author-illustrator James Gurney created a world where dinosaurs and humans exist together peacefully.
- It’s fascinating to see how exhibitions are planned before coming to life. Here are some of the preliminary plans just a few months before Civil War Experience Civil War Photography: From the Home Front to the Battlefront was displayed from August 2012 to July 2013 at the Smithsonian Institution Building.
Accession 18-150 from Smithsonian Exhibits (formerly the Office of Exhibits Central) is a favorite in general because it has many design records for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Smithsonian museum exhibitions.