A preliminary drawing for the space at the Smithsonian Institution Building for the Civil War Experience Civil War Photography: From the Home Front to the Battlefront exhibition in 2002. SIA Acc. 18-150, Smithsonian Exhibits, Exhibition Records, circa 2000-2016.

More of Our Favorite (Digital) Things

It’s time to add to our list of our favorite digital items from the Archives.

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.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

These nine photos show construction on the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, in 2002. Photographer unknown, SIA Acc. 14-001, Smithsonian Institution Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Project Files, 1992-2013.

  • 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.

Listen to the Smithsonian Polka here. 

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.

Press release announces the opening of the Dinotopia exhibit at National Museum of Natural History in 2002. SIA Acc. 11-281, National Museum of Natural History, Office of Public Affairs, Images, circa 1992-2010.

Press release announces the opening of the Dinotopia exhibit at National Museum of Natural History in 2002. SIA Acc. 11-281, National Museum of Natural History, Office of Public Affairs, Images, circa 1992-2010.

Preliminary plan for exhibition layout for Civil War Experience Civil War Photography: From the Home

  • 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.

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