If you happen to follow the Smithsonian’s Flickr Commons stream very closely, you may have noticed that two new sets of photos were uploaded last week: a set from thePacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, as well as a set of Field Book Lantern Slides.
While the name may sound dry, the biological survey photos, as you can see above, are full of strikingly beautiful gems—abstract patterns of frigates fluttering across the horizon off the coast of the Phoenix Islands, and elegantly curved bird profiles. The photos document a biological survey of plants and animals of the Pacific completed by Smithsonian employees during the 1960s and 70s.
And the Field Book Lantern slides above are a series of image slides used by researchers to present their work to colleagues and the general public. They include some especially colorful slides documenting the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition 1909 (and the “specimens” they collected), as well as an incredible series of early 20th century slides of the preparation and installation of dinosaur specimens and other mammals from the Smithsonian’s Division of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Both sets of photos come from our collections at the Archives, and are a part of the the Field Book Project—a joint venture of the National Museum of Natural History and us, the Smithsonian Institution Archives—to create one online location for scholars and others to search for field books and other field research materials. Summer interns for the Field Book Project curated both sets and write in detail about their content on the Field Book Blog. Read more in their post, “On Land and at Sea: Two Intern Flickr Sets on The Commons.” You can follow the progress of the project on the Field Book blog.