The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Audio, Video, and PDF's, Oh My!
This is an exciting time for all of us here at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and for me especially, as I am proud to announce that several of our online finding aids now contain links to our digitized material! Linking digital material to our finding aids allows us to provide greater access to our collections.
Among the materials available are video clips of a white tiger being presented to President Eisenhower in 1960 and a driving tour of the National Zoological Park from 1959. You can also peruse the transcript and listen to audio clips from an interview with Alexander Wetmore, the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian.
In addition to the audio and video clips, we also have a number of finding aids with links to print materials. One of my favorites is a collection of Egyptian Bombyliids, or bee flies, which was recently digitized by my intern, Krista Anderson Peim. The collection is from the 1930s and consists of eighty-four beautifully executed watercolor paintings that represent the highly varied range of species that make up the Bombyliidae family. The paintings were originally created for inclusion in a manuscript about Egyptian Bombyliids by H.C. Efflatoun, a leading entymologist of the mid-twentieth century by three Russian artists, Roman Strekalovsky, Nicholas Strekalovsky, and E. Kassessinoff. A PDF copy of the manuscript, entitled “A Monograph of Egyptian Diptera. Part VII: Family Bombiliidae,” is included in the first folder of the collection (scroll down to the 'Container List').
Following the addition of detailed catalog records from the Field Book Project to the Smithsonian Collection Search Center, we have also added links to the PDFs of digitized field books to our finding aids. For example, it is now possible to view all three of Edward Chapin’s field books that are held here at SIA from the comfort of your very own home (or office)!
We will continue to update our finding aids with new material as it becomes available, so keep checking back for more!
- SIA RU000395, National Zoological Park (U.S.) Office of Education, Motion Pictures and Videotapes, circa 1938-1980 and undated
- SIA RU009504, Oral history interviews with Alexander Wetmore 1974
- SIA RU007468, Egyptian Bombyliids Collection, 1930s Watercolor
- SIA Acc. 11-085, Chapin, Edward Albert 1894-, Edward Albert Chapin Field Notebooks, 1937-1947