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Liz O'Brien
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The Smithsonian Libraries Presents… ›“Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe” by George Dyson Lecture, Book Signing, and Reception Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:00 p.m. National Museum of Natural History (10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW) Baird Auditorium, Ground Floor Join us for this event! It is FREE and open to the public! George Dyson Author, kayak designer, historian of science and technology, unconventional career. Despite (or because of) the absence of formal education, Dyson has always found time for intellectual pursuits, working on the edges of the academic establishment but contributing to the mainstream with a wide range of lectures and three successful books. Dyson’s kayak designs have been built by thousands of followers and his books have been well received. James Michener praised Baidarka as “a grand, detailed book that will be a standard for years to come,” Oliver Sacks wrote that Darwin Among the Machines was “a very deep and important book, beautifully written... as remarkable an intellectual history as any I have read,” and Arthur C. Clarke describes Project Orion as “essential reading for engineers/scientists involved with government bureaucracies and the notorious Military Industrial Complex... also vice versa.” Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2012 at Smithsonian Libraries
The Margaret Henry Dabney Penick Resident Scholar Program supports scholarly research into the legacy of Patrick Henry and his political circle, the early political history of Virginia, the history of the American Revolution, founding era ideas and policy-making, as well as science, technology, and culture in colonial America and the Early National Period. The stipend for this long-term fellowship is $45,000 for nine consecutive months. Senior scholars are particularly encouraged to apply, however, applicants in their post-doctoral phase or, with outstanding achievements in their pre-doctoral phase may be also considered for the fellowship. Fellows are expected to give at least one public lecture during the tenure of the fellowship as well as to show progress toward a publishable manuscript by the end of the fellowship period. Fellows are also asked to cooperate with the Library administration in planning scholarly programs. The Smithsonian Institution Libraries offers its fellows the rich holdings of its research collections, especially at the National Museum American History Library, the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, the Smithsonian American Art / Portrait Gallery Library, and the American Civilization Collection at the National Museum of the American Indian. The Libraries also provides guidance and contact information to relevant historical collections in the Washington DC area, especially regarding the holdings of Patrick Henry materials and resources of the American Revolutionary and colonial eras. For further information about the Resident Scholar Program, including application forms and procedures, please visit the SI Libraries’ website: Additional inquiries may... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2012 at Smithsonian Libraries
Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record of the past. The Libraries is uniquely positioned to help scholars understand the continuing vitality of this relationship, via exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. Stipends of $3,500 per month for up to six months are available to support scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries in Washington, DC and New York, NY, in an extensive range of subject areas. Historians, librarians, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows are welcome to apply. The Spencer Baird Resident Scholars will use collections including rare books in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History (pre-1840 works on topics such as botany, zoology, travel & exploration, museums & collecting, geology, anthropology, and James Smithson’s library); World’s Fairs printed materials from the 19th and early 20th centuries (located at the Dibner Library, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and National Museum of American History libraries); manufacturers’ commercial trade catalogs at the National Museum of American History Library; rare materials in the history of ballooning, rocketry, and aviation from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries at the National Air and Space Museum Library’s... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2012 at Smithsonian Libraries
Do you like fundraising and libraries? If so, we have the job for you! The Smithsonian Libraries is seeking a Development Associate! This position will assist the Director of Development by managing the Libraries’ annual giving program and help with the preparation, planning and execution of donor-centered events associated with development and fundraising. We are looking for someone with two to four years of successful experience in annual gift fundraising (preferably in a library, university, or museum setting), and with exceptional writing and communication skills. The Smithsonian Libraries is a dynamic enterprise that serves the information needs of Smithsonian staff and researchers and the general public worldwide. The Libraries builds and maintains nationally prominent collections in the fields of Smithsonian interest and hosts a website that reaches annually over 3.4 million individual visitors. The collections of over 1.7 million volumes, including 50,000 rare books and manuscripts, are particularly strong in natural history and biodiversity; history of science and technology; American, Asian, African, and contemporary art; design and decorative arts; aviation history and aerospace technology; and conservation. Electronic collections comprise over 4,000 online journals and databases. Libraries staff provide direct, personal service to Smithsonian scientists, researchers, and visitors through a network of 20 branch libraries located in museums and research facilities. The Libraries offers an outreach program of exhibitions, lectures, publications, and other programs for the public. We seek to secure funding for the acquisition of new materials in all formats, including print and electronic. Other fundraising priorities include establishing a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at Smithsonian Libraries
Please join us in celebrating the Warren M. Robbins African Art Library's 40th year! The Robbins library shares resources in African art, history, and culture with scholars, teachers and students across the globe. Warren M. Robbins’ vision of the Library was for it to become a scholarly resource center for African art and culture, “second to none in the world.” He established the Library in 1971 at the Museum of African Art on Capitol Hill with just a few hundred books. Today with 40,000 volumes, the Library has transformed into the world’s premier library for the study of African visual arts, history, and culture. In 2006, the Library celebrated its 35th Anniversary by establishing The Warren M. Robbins African Art Library Endowment to build print and digital collections. Through the generosity of our supporters, this endowment has grown to almost $140,000. It is now able to address some of the needs of libraries in Africa by distributing important publications on African art, and we are actively digitizing books on Africa, which are freely available through the Internet Archive. We have also created the Archive of African Artists, representing 3,700 African artists and growing. Your support is essential to the continued success of the Warren M. Robbins African Art Library! Please consider helping us build our collections and reach more users. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2011 at Smithsonian Libraries
Hailing from Babylon, New York, Dave Opkins is the Smithsonian Libraries’ new Administrative Project Specialist. Dave joins the Libraries from the Freer and Sackler Galleries’ Office of Design, Publications and Web, where he previously worked as an office administrator. He earned a bachelor’s of business administration from George Washington University in 2000. In his new post, Dave will oversee projects in finance, accounting and contract management for the Libraries. His goal is to provide good service for staff who rely on the Administrative Office, with a focus on dependability, accurate information and easy interactions. Dave found his love for museums as a young child, when he and his father made an annual trip to New York City to visit the American Museum of Natural History. He plans to have a long career growing within the Smithsonian; he describes working for the Institution as a personal interest to being part of something great. Dave enjoys being with his wife and daughter, spending time outdoors and renovating his house on Capitol Hill. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2011 at Smithsonian Libraries
The Smithsonian Libraries will hold the 2011 Dibner Library Lecture on Tuesday, December 6 at 5 p.m. in the Smithsonian Castle Commons. The lecture is free and open to the public. This year's guest lecturer is author Laura J. Snyder, Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University in New York City. At the Smithsonian Libraries event, Snyder will speak on “The Philosophical Breakfast Club and the Invention of the Scientist.” Snyder is a Life Member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge, and served as President of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science in 2009 and 2010. Her most recent book, “The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends who Transformed Science and Changed the World” (Broadway Books, 2011), was a Scientific American Notable Book, an Official Selection of the TED Book Club, and winner of the 2011 Royal Institution of Australia Poll for Favorite Science Book. She is also the author “Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society” (University of Chicago Press, 2006). Begun in 1992, the Dibner Library Lectures feature a distinguished scholar who has made significant contributions to his or her field of study. Previous lecturers include British historian Richard Holmes and Harvard University professor Joyce E. Chaplin. Since 2000, the Dibner Library Lecture has become available in published form. The lectures are also posted online at The lecture series and its publication are made possible by the generous support of The Dibner Fund. The Dibner Library of the History of Science... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2011 at Smithsonian Libraries
The Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board fall meetings took place October 27-28 in the Smithsonian Latino Center conference rooms, located in the Capital Gallery. The group was visited by several special guests, including Eva Pell, Under Secretary for Science; Anne Van Camp, Director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives; Evelyn Lieberman, Director of Communications & External Affairs; and Scott Miller, Deputy Under Secretary for Collections & Interdisciplinary Support. The Libraries' Advisory Board meets three times per year. Pictured, L-R: Kathryn Turner, Roland DeSilva, Linda Gooden, George Hill, Barbara Joynt, Gus Miller, Hope Furth, Katherine Neville, Fred Ward, Vice Chair Kay Dryden, Chair Ron Monark, John Germano, Jerry Shelton, Nancy Eaton, Richard Choi, and Lowell Robinson. Not pictured: Bob Snyder and Pam Braden. Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2011 at Smithsonian Libraries
The Libraries welcomes Trina Brown, our new Instructional/Reference Librarian. Trina received a B.A. in speech communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland. In her new position, Trina looks forward to getting to know the training needs of the Libraries and Smithsonian staff, while also keeping her hand in reference librarianship. Her home base is in the National Museum of American History Library. Trina is a self-described “army brat” and lived in a number of U.S. states including Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Alaska. She has lived in the DC area since 1997, when she moved to the area for a position in interlibrary loan/reference assistance at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library. For the past 5 years, Trina has worked for the Foundation Center, a nonprofit information center in DC, as a reference librarian. She also taught classes on fundraising and grant writing. Trina is excited to be back at the Smithsonian, as her new role not only incorporates reference and instruction, but also outreach; she will be actively participating in the Libraries’ social media platforms and other initiatives. A movie buff, Trina also enjoys reading, painting and charcoal drawing, and has recently taken up knitting. She is a fan of art museums, and likes to visit her old “home” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Trina enjoys travelling to New York City and hopes to explore Annapolis, Maryland on a future trip. Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2011 at Smithsonian Libraries
Due to inclement weather conditions in the DC area, the Libraries regrets the cancellation of William Patry's lecture, "Copyright as Storytelling," scheduled on Friday, February 12. We will reschedule this event soon - stay tuned! Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at Smithsonian Libraries
Due to inclement weather conditions in the DC area, the Libraries regrets the cancellation of William Patry's lecture, "Copyright as Storytelling," scheduled on Friday, February 12. We will reschedule this event soon - stay tuned! Continue reading
Very interesting, Jim! Great post. I didn't realize that "labor-saving" machines actually created more work for the mother, as they raised expectations for household upkeep.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2009 on More Work for Mother? at Smithsonian Libraries