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14 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

USNM Curators Annual Reports - Technological Collections, 1895 - 1896

In 1896, the Smithsonian posed a difficult question for its curators: to rank that year's accessions in order of importance. See how the incredible new objects in the Smithsonian's Technological Collections stack up for Curator J. E. Watkins in his annual report. Join other volunteers to help us transcribe the 1896 Technological Collections report and see that year's Smithsonian highlights!

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54 Total Pages 7 Contributing Members

USNM Curators Annual Reports - Technological Collections, 1896 - 1897

Though the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries building (created to house the Smithsonian's growing collection) had only opened to the public in Fall of 1881, just a few years later, the National Museum had already begun to run out of space. See how those spatial constraints impacted the work of Curator J.E. Watkins, and his work on the Technological Collections. Help transcribe the 1897 Technological Collections report and get an inside look into the trials and triumphs of the Smithsonian?s expanding collection!

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27 Total Pages 13 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- Costumes, 1883

Even in the Smithsonian's new Arts and Industries building (which opened to the public in Fall of 1881) finding room for the ever-expanding collection a few years later was still a challenge--particularly when it came to arranging the boats! The exhibition of boat models was just part of the Section of Costumes' exhibit work for 1883, as documented in this curator's annual report. Learn more about the Smithsonian's early acquisitions and exhibitions, and help us transcribe this fascinating report!

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6 Total Pages 3 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- DEPARTMENT OF ABORIGINAL POTTERY: ANNUAL REPORT 1885

When a curator is working with a large collection, how does he or she choose what items will be placed on exhibition? Get a glimpse into the process from “preliminary classification” to public view in this 1885 curator’s report from the Smithsonian’s Department of Aboriginal Pottery—then help transcribe!

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18 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- DEPARTMENT OF ABORIGINAL POTTERY: ANNUAL REPORT 1885-1886

During 1885-86, the Smithsonian’s Department of Aboriginal Pottery added several large accessions—numbering at 1,500 “entries.” How did the department obtain so many new pieces that year? Get the details behind the accessions with this annual curator’s report! Join other volunteers in transcribing this unique piece of Smithsonian history.

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4 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- DEPARTMENT OF ABORIGINAL POTTERY: ANNUAL REPORT 1886-1887

The Smithsonian’s mission has been, since its beginnings, the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” One of the ways this goal is accomplished is through innovative research—a focus that has been at the Smithsonian’s core for over a century. What type of “original research” was the Department of Aboriginal Pottery working on in 1886-87? Find out with this annual curator’s report and join in on transcribing it.

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67 Total Pages 13 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- Department of Birds: Annual and Monthly Reports 1882

In a collection as large as the Smithsonian’s, how do you begin to keep track of every object and all the information about it? This cataloguing process is one that dates back to the Smithsonian’s beginnings—and is described in detail in this 1882 annual curator’s report! The Department of Birds’ curator, ornithologist and illustrator Robert Ridgway, described the process for cataloguing the museum’s extensive collection of birds, nests, and eggs, in this report. Find out more about Ridgway’s process and help transcribe this unique piece of Smithsonian history.

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15 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- Department of Birds: Monthly Reports July - November 1881

It’s a topic that museum conservators across the globe deal with every day—preservation management. How do we keep our collections safe from everything from mold, to water, to insects? This question was on the minds of staff in the Smithsonian’s Department of Birds in 1881, too, as documented in this set of monthly curator’s reports. Part of the notes document an assessment of the thousands of bird specimen for potential damage (all were found in “excellent condition!”). Learn more about the process, and join in transcribing this unique piece of museum history.

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25 Total Pages 15 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- Department of Ethnology, Section of Aboriginal Pottery, 1887- 1893

The Smithsonian’s Bureau of Ethnology—established in 1879—was tasked with preserving the records and materials of Native American tribes throughout North America. This included a variety of initiatives, like manuscript repositories, music and language recordings, and a collection of aboriginal pottery. These annual reports document the accessions, exhibitions, and other work done by the Section of Aboriginal Pottery during the beginnings of the Bureau of Ethnology. Get a look into the Smithsonian’s past and help transcribe these reports for future generations of researchers.

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91 Total Pages 19 Contributing Members

USNM CURATORS ANNUAL REPORTS -- Department of Ethnology: Annual Report 1890 – 1891

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison established the National Board of Geographical names—a part of the US Geological Survey, which established a uniform set among the hundreds of different geographic names and descriptors used by scientists and federal agencies. Who did the National Board of Geographical Names look to for guidance on this ambitious project? The Smithsonian’s Department of Ethnology! Learn more about this project, among others taken on by the department, in the 1890-91 annual curator report and help transcribe this piece of Smithsonian history.

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