The Archives has been in a period of extended telework since March 2020, and The Bigger Picture blog team has used this time to rethink how we share our collections, stories, and expertise. After crunching the numbers and looking at the amount of readers to each blog post, the team has made a decision to decrease the amount we share each week. But have no fear, we’ll be prioritizing quality over quantity.
So what can you expect from us and when should you tune in? Every week, we’ll still be posting to the blog on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We’ll continue our Wonderful Women Wednesday features about past and present women employees at the Smithsonian, and then we’ll be sharing a longer-form blog post on Thursdays.
In order to explain what inspired these changes, it’s only right that we take a quick look back at the history of our blog. We are an institutional archives, after all.
Interestingly, The Bigger Picture wasn’t even founded by the Archives. The Smithsonian Photography Initiative originally launched the blog in January 2009, two months before the organization merged with the Smithsonian Institution Archives. In fact, the blog was initially established to expand access to the Institution’s photographic collections. It really isn’t until 2010 that our archivists began contributing to the blog, and even then, the posts were mostly centered around photographic collections.
The Bigger Picture was also founded at a time before the Archives used social media platforms to reach our audiences. We began our Facebook page and YouTube channel in 2010 and our Twitter account and Instagram profile in 2014. Since the blog was founded in 2009, we now have so many more ways to share our stories with new and existing audiences. In the coming months, we’re hoping to experiment with different ways to share our work through those channels.
Some of your favorite short blog features, like Link Love and Archives Puzzles, aren’t going anywhere, though. They will just look a little different. Last month, we began posting biweekly #LinkLove threads to Twitter, which you will be able to view here every other Friday. We will also continue to post Smithsonian Open Access Archives Puzzles each quarter.
We are so grateful to all of our loyal readers, and we know these changes will provide the The Bigger Picture team with the time and space to share even more in new, compelling ways.
- “Smithsonian Photography Initiative Announces Its New Blog ‘The Bigger Picture’ at blog.photography.si.edu,” news release, Smithsonian Institution
- “Not Restarting, Starting Over: New Workflows for a ‘New Normal’” by William Bennett and Kira Sobers, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- “Staff Check-In: Befriending Kittens, Carving Ducks, and Perfecting the Art of the Biscuit” by Emily Niekrasz, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives