Alice Konze has given the Smithsonian Libraries a Charitable Gift Annuity of $100,000 for the Libraries Futures Fund. Alice and her husband Bill have been visitors and supporters of the Smithsonian since 1966.
The Libraries Futures Fund is our fund for unrestricted donations, and is vital to the Libraries' success. The Futures Fund gives us the flexibility to take advantage of extraordinary opportunities as they arise. This past year, the fund was used for staff training in data curation, image processing, and color management. These courses offer staff skills to greatly improve the quality of the Libraries' digital collection. Additionally, the Futures Fund supports our Resident Scholar Program which provides a monthly stipend to individuals working on a topic relating to the Libraries' Special Collections. Recently, money from the fund also was used to study the impact of social media on scholarly publishing. Whether staff members are pioneering innovative technologies or collaborating on new initiatives, their projects are crucial pilots that will guide the Libraries' course for years to come.
The Wonder Woman comics are one of several artifacts selected for the upcoming book The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects, by Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture. The Smithsonian Channel documentary series will feature unique items from around the Institution that tell the story of America's history, based on Kurin's book. Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections, as well as two surprised museum visitors were part of the filming. Stay tuned to this newsletter to find out upcoming air dates.
Tumblr Takes Flight!
What better way to bring hidden collections to life than through animation on the microblogging platform, Tumblr? Three posts from the Smithsonian Libraries' Tumblr blog, Turning the Book Wheel, have gone viral, leading to a dramatic increase of followers from 828 in May to almost 17,000 (and counting) today! The staff of Tumblr even featured us on their "back to school" blog post. Our resident animated gif-maker (and Libraries Data Manager), Richard Naples, discussed the importance of sharing imagesthrough Tumblr on our the Smithsonian Libraries blog. View the viral posts, made from captivating pages of books that are centuries old: fluttering butterflies, a sky-bound elephant, and a turbulent hot air balloon.
Field of Vision Exhibition Opens
Timothy Vermeulen installs one of the cases.
On Thursday, August 8, Field of Vision: Landscape in the Artist's Book opened at the American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery Library. Timothy Vermeulen, Smithsonian Libraries summer intern and Katzenberger Internship award recipient, curated the exhibition. On display are over 15 artists' books from the collections of the Smithsonian Institution's African Art, American Art & Portrait Gallery, and Hirshhorn Museum Libraries, including Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (Ruscha, 1968), Egyptian Green (Allix, 2003), and Kicking Stones: a 203 mile northward walk in six days, Cork to Sligo, Ireland, 1989 (Long, 1990). A reception to unveil the exhibition was held the evening of August 8. Field of Vision will be on display through January 1, 2014.
Timothy Vermeulen with Librarians Anna Brooke, Doug Litts, Anne Evenhaugen, and Janet Stanley.
A Field of Vision exhibition case full of artists' books.
Farewell, Summer Interns
A group of interns pictured with Director Nancy Gwinn, Deputy Director Mary Augusta Thomas, and Associate Director of Digital Services Martin Kalfatovic.
Understanding Asian Papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation Workshop
The Libraries is hosting a three-day workshop on the theoretical and practical understanding of the history of East Asian papers (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) and their applications in Western paper conservation practice today. The aim of this workshop is to equip conservators with the skills to identify different East Asian papers, to appreciate their individual traits, and to show the great contribution that Eastern papers can make to modern Western conservation practice. The workshop - featuring guest instructor Minah Song - is October 9-11 at our Book Conservation Lab in Landover, Md. Be sure to register soon; there are only a few spots left! For more information, click here.
Meet Jackie and Monique!
A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, Jackie Chapman joined Smithsonian Libraries staff in February. Jackie received an undergraduate degree in the College of Letters from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.) and a Master of Science in Library Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Most recently, she worked at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, a statewide digitization project capturing the cultural history of North Carolina, where she spent almost two years immersed in digitization, digitization work flows, metadata, and social media for the organization.
Although Jackie is a new employee, she interned at the Smithsonian Libraries last summer, completing work in the Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). Jackie describes working at the Smithsonian as a fusion of several of her primary interests: nonprofit leadership, education, and libraries. She finds her current work with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) particularly fascinating, with its ties to librarians and researchers from around the globe. In her position, Jackie will manage and improve the Libraries workflow by completing user requests in tracking system Gemini, getting requests to the correct BHL partner, working on Libraries contribution, and collaborating on projects with other BHL staff.
A native of New Jersey and upstate New York, Monique Politowski is the Smithsonian Libraries' new Digital Library Technician. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.) and a Master of Arts in American History from Fordham University (Bronx, N.Y.). Her first day with the Libraries was June 3rd. Before joining our staff, Monique worked as an Archives Technician at the National Archives (NARA) in College Park, Md., where she focused on digitization under a partnership project between NARA and Ancestry.com. Prior to working at NARA, Monique was an adjunct professor of Early American and Modern European History at St. Thomas Aquinas College and an Editorial Assistant at the The Selected Papers of John Jay at Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
For the Libraries, Monique is working with the Culture Heritage Library (a project digitizing public domain content from the collections of history, art, and culture libraries), overseeing the workflow and performing quality assurance. She serves as a liaison between the Libraries' digital libraries/web services and our 20 branch locations, assisting with special projects. Since beginning her work here, she has enjoyed reviewing materials from each of the branches, especially content from the National Museum of American History and assisting with metadata for the Biodiversity Heritage Library.