Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Advancement
Website Records, 2014
This accession consists of the "Smithsonian Summer Showdown" website and selected associated social media. The Smithsonian Summer Showdown was a competition for which many of the museums, research centers, and zoo chose one iconic item to be voted upon by the public. Competitors included the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoological Park, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian Gardens, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Anacostia Community Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Postal Museum, the Archives of American Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Asian Pacific American Center, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Folkways/Recordings, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The competition was bracket-style with round one items grouped into science, history, art, and culture categories. Voters were eligible to win several prizes awarded by random drawings. The competition ran from July 28 through August 18, 2014.
The website was crawled during each of the three rounds and after the winner (Bao Bao the giant panda cub) was announced. The crawls include the brackets, the voting forms, the official rules of entry, and the prize details.
Throughout the competition, many of the Smithsonian Institution's Twitter accounts were used to promote the competition and encourage votes for particular items. One method used was "trash talk" between competing museums and research centers in which they engaged in playful conversations about how a particular item was better than another. The conversations often provided context to the items and their places in history. A search of the #SIShowdown hashtag in Twitter was crawled on August 29, 2014. Tweets with the #SIShowdown hashtag between August 15 and October 6, 2014 were also exported into a spreadsheet.
Several units within the Smithsonian Institution used Storify boards to collect and contextualize Tweets and other social media content documenting particular aspects of the competition, including the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Several boards were created in the central Smithsonian Storify account as well. Each of these boards was crawled on August 22, 2014.
Materials are in electronic format.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
- National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)
- National Zoological Park (U.S.)
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Smithsonian Gardens
- Smithsonian Institution. Archives
- Anacostia Community Museum
- National Museum of American History (U.S.)
- National Postal Museum (U.S.)
- Archives of American Art
- National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.)
- National Museum of the American Indian (U.S.)
- Smithsonian Institution. Asian Pacific American Center
- Smithsonian Latino Center
- Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
- Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings
- Smithsonian Institution. Traveling Exhibition Service
- Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
- Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
- National Museum of African Art (U.S.)
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
- Twitter (Firm)
- Smithsonian Summer Showdown (Website)
- Storify (Electronic resource)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 15-017, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Advancement, Website Records