The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Science
Scientific research has been integral to the Smithsonian, from its founding to today. The Smithsonian's founder, Englishman James Smithson, saw in the U.S. (according to his biographer, Heather Ewing) "a place of the future" that could support "science and progress for humanity." He believed that scientists were "citizens of the world" and that the work they did benefited everyone. He was a chemist and studied almost everything he encountered. Furthermore, the leaders of the Smithsonian, or secretaries, often had science backgrounds; physics, ornithology, paleontology, and archaelogy to name a few.
Today, Smithsonian scientists work around the world, in laboratories, observatories, and the field, studying topics that range from astrophysics to conservation biology to coastal ecosystems to tropical ecologies. As people gather in Washington D.C. for both the March for Science and the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit, we look back at some of our scientists who have made science history at the Smithsonian and in the world.
- Science Service Records, 1920s-1970s, SIA Accession 90-105
- Breathing new life into medieval manuscripts at Bodelain Library. [via Adam Koszary/Medium]
- Over 600 new rights-free videos and other media showing embryos, robots, and bouncing water droplets! [via Wikimedia Open Access Report]
- The Smithsonian is gathering thought leaders in environmental and species conservation on Earth Day for their 1st Earth Optimism Summit, and our own Pam Henson will give a keynote on the history of conservation at the Smithsonian. [via National Geographic]
- The spiritual world of Abraham Lincoln from Smithsonian historian David C. Ward. [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- An archival drawing reveals the mathematics in John Coltrane's music. [via Open Culture]
- Our social followers, Wikipedian Hildabast, answered the call to write about African American, Smithosnian entomologist, Sophie Lutterlough, and turns out she has a great blog about African American scientists (almost) lost to history!
- Library of Congress is digitizing notable African American activists. [via Hyperallergic]
- While still under a 20-year restriction, James Baldwin's letters have landed at NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. [via NY Times]
- The 86-year old woman who was born in the South Carolina slave cabin now on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Isabell Meggett Lucas, paid a visit. [via AP wire]
- How 18th-century urbanites dealt with overwhelming scents and sounds. [via CITYLAB]
- Because what's better than a baby oranguatan crossing the high wire with her careful and strong mom?
- The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress were able to pool funds to purchase a rare photo of a young Harriet Tubman. [via Washington Post]
- The Audobon profiles Smithsonian scientist, Roxie Laybourne, who started the field of forensic ornithology which identified birds involved in plane strikes and led to improved aviation safety.
- Smithsonian Gardens launched a new app to collect stories about gardens around the country.
- A fascinating look at what the Met's data reveals about it as an institution. [via FiveThirtyEight]
- Another doomsday vault in Norway, Arctic World Archive, will hold data from archives and libraries around the world. [via Verge]
- A fan of Bob Ross' PBS show, Joy of Painting, launched a website with the 403 paintings he created on air! [via Hyperallergic]
- Manatees may have been preemptively removed from the list of endangered species list. [via NPR]
- A look at the not-so-secret tunnel running underneath the National Mall between the Smithsonian's Castle and National Museum of Natural History.[via WJLA]
- Baby cheetah bonanza at the National Zoo! [via DCist]
- Meet the women behind African American hair care! [via #HiddenHerstory]
- MIT Libraries is kicking off the "Women in Science and Engineering@MIT" archival initiative to improve the representation of women in their archives. [via MIT Libraries]
- Know someone with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities? Tell them about Morning at the Museum, a program that provides early access to Smithsonian museums with facilitated activities! [via Smithsonian Torch/Smithsonian Accessibility Program]
- Hear and explore Russian futurist art books on the Getty's new website. [via Getty Hub]
- The Musée de la Civilisation can connect you with your 2000-year-old doppelganger! [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- Seven countries and an American donor are pledging $75.5 million to protect cultural heritage from war and terrorism. [via Art Daily]
- The U.S. National Archives and Mellon Foundation kicked off an initiative to "make historical records readily accessible to scholars, students, and the American people." [via Info Docket]
- A 360-degree sense for what it's like to conduct field research in the Amazon via Biographic:
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