National Library Week: Accessing the Smithsonian Libraries from Anywhere

It’s National Library Week 2020! This year’s theme is “Find your place at the library.” While the Smithsonian Libraries has closed its 21 physical branches during the COVID-19 outbreak, our work continues. We invite you to find a place with us online through our virtual resources, continued services, and digital content. We are here to help you explore and discover from the comfort of your home–and we look forward to welcoming you back in person as soon as we can.

Sleuthing Captain America’s Shield

While the Smithsonian is referenced all the time in popular media, nothing goes hand-in-hand with the world’s largest museum complex quite like the world’s largest film franchise: the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In that fictional world, the Avengers and the Smithsonian have had a somewhat rocky relationship, including a heist by Captain America to steal his old uniform from the National Air and Space Museum.

Upcoming Event: Women at Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on working women, especially those of color and in the LGBTQ+ community. But even before the pandemic “overtook the globe in early 2020, inequities were holding women back in the workplace.” Yet women have still managed to contribute to America’s most defining moments and will certainly help tackle the biggest challenges we face, whether it’s the ongoing pandemic or the climate crisis.

Explore the Past with a Learning Tool of the Future

When the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building reopened in November 2021, it launched FUTURES, an ambitious, interactive exploration of what lies ahead for humanity. This building-wide exhibition is on view until July 7th, 2022 and highlights artworks, technologies, and ideas that look towards the future. Included in the exhibition is “Women in America: Extra and Ordinary”, an innovative classroom tool developed by Sara Cardello, our Head of Education.

The Bamboo Expert Who Rediscovered a Missing Grass

Argentine grass expert Dr. Cleofé E. Calderón (1929-2007) collected species, published descriptions of rare and unusual plants, and led workshops that helped shape the field of bamboo taxonomy. Affiliated with the Smithsonian for much of her agrostology career, Dr. Calderón’s legacy can be traced in collections across the Institution, including publications, field books, and photos in Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives & Wikidata: Adding Artist Files to Wikidata

This is the fourth part of a series sharing Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ work with linked open data and Wikidata. For background and overview of current projects, see the first several posts in the series. This post was written in collaboration with Nilda Lopez, Reference Librarian at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Library, and a valued team member of the Artist Files Wikidata Pilot Project.

Library Descriptive Data Unleashed in SVDE: Making Data More Meaningful

Previously, we have shared one stream of Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ linked data experiments, Wikidata, which is based on a Wiki platform. In this post, we share another linked data experiment that focuses on the traditional bibliographic data (the library catalog) transformation with the Shared Virtual Discovery Environment (SVDE) BIBFRAME project. 

Demystifying Information Literacy: From Buzzword to Classroom Resource

In the throes of my first year of pre-pandemic teaching, when I was fresh and green and hardly older (or taller!) than my students, the term Information Literacy meant something quite different to me, and surely to all of us, than it does now. Information Literacy was once a vague set of rules and tools that were scribbled aimlessly on a mental sticky note and stuck to the side of a metaphorical laptop  – collecting dust in one’s periphery but never quite clearing into a sharp focus.

Summer 2023 Internships Opportunities with Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

We’re excited to announce a new round of internships for Summer 2023.  These opportunities provide hands-on experience in a range of subject areas and are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Each unique project offers a chance to explore current topics in archives, libraries, and information science and learn from experienced Smithsonian Libraries and Archives staff.

These internships include a variety of on-site and remote options, part-time and full-time. All include a stipend. The application deadline is February 13th, 2023.

The Ecology of Atlantic Shorelines

Even as our understanding of ecological systems evolve, there are touchstone texts that lay the foundations of our understanding. Ecology of Atlantic Shorelines by Mark Bertness is such a touchstone for these unique coastal ecosystems.

Parasitic Protozoa

This comprehensive and scholarly text covers a wide variety of parasitic protozoans found in humans and other animal species. The articles, written by a variety of expert authors, contain thorough and detailed descriptions. This text is used by veterinarians and pathologists, including the staff of Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, to identify and manage parasitic protozoa.