73 Total Pages 15 Contributing Members
In 1893, the Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the Chicago Columbian Expedition, kicked off—celebrating 400 years since Christopher Columbus came to the New World. Over 27 million people attended the exposition, which featured buildings representing 46 countries. A few years before the World’s Fair began, preparations were well underway, including at the Smithsonian! The Department of Ethnology outlines their involvement in the World’s Fair in this annual curator’s report. Learn more about the Chicago World’s Fair and help transcribe a piece of Smithsonian history.
33 Total Pages 14 Contributing Members
Ichthyologist George Brown Goode had many different responsibilities during his time at the Smithsonian: assistant to Secretary Spencer Baird, exhibit designer, and head of the Smithsonian’s fish research initiatives. He was also an integral part of the planning for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (and found time to do some collecting for the museum, in the process!). Get a glimpse into the many contributions of George Brown Goode in this set of annual curator’s reports from the Smithsonian’s Department of Ethnology. Join other volunteers in transcribing this report!
39 Total Pages 13 Contributing Members
The Smithsonian’s Department of Ethnology Curator in 1894 defined his role as determining “comprehensively and comparatively the American arts.” What did that work entail exactly? Find out in the 1893-94 annual curator’s report! Get the details about the department and the curator’s functions, and join other volunteers in transcribing this report!
32 Total Pages 13 Contributing Members
It’s an issue any modern day museum professional is probably all too familiar with—how do we store and catalogue an ever-expanding collection? It was also a question on the mind of the Smithsonian’s Department of Ethnology Curator in 1894-95! Learn more about the department’s extensive cataloguing project—and collection storage issues—in this annual curator’s report. Then, help transcribe this document for the use of future museum professionals!
22 Total Pages 9 Contributing Members
Since its very beginnings, the Smithsonian has been a center for scientific and cultural research. What types of research was the Department of Ethnology staff working on in 1895-96? Get a glimpse into the extensive work done by Smithsonian staff—researching everything from Aboriginal pipes and indigenous lamp designs—and help transcribe the department’s annual curator’s report!
24 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members
In an extensive collection like the Smithsonian Department of Ethnology’s, what kinds of new discoveries can be found? In 1896-97, a number of new ideas emerged from the ethnology department specimens! Learn more about the discoveries that the Department of Ethnology made in this annual curator’s report—then transcribe this report and help a new set of discoveries emerge!
93 Total Pages 26 Contributing Members
"From the date of the plan of organization of the National Museum it has been the intention of its founders that it should eventually include a Department of Vivaria." So begins the first report of the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals, which is now the National Zoo! Get the story behind the formation of the National Zoo with this set of annual and monthly curator's reports, 1887-88. These reports were written by the Zoo's first director, William Temple Hornaday, founder of the American conservation movement.
18 Total Pages 12 Contributing Members
Today, the Smithsonian's National Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals--and it all started with just a few bison, outside of the Smithsonian Castle in the 1880s, as part of the Department of Living Animals. The live animals, used as models for the Smithsonian's taxidermists, were a hit with the public, and by 1889 Congress had formally established the National Zoo. Take a look at what other animals were part of the department in this set of curator's notes from 1888-89. Get a look into the earliest days of the National Zoo--and help transcribe!
22 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members
Have you ever heard of Biblical archaeology? The Smithsonian’s Department of Oriental Antiquities defined it as the “history, archaeology, languages, arts, and religions of the peoples of Western Asia and Egypt” in 1888. Read more about this collecting practice, and the establishment of the department, in this annual curator’s report from 1888-89. Then join other digital volunteers in transcribing this piece of Smithsonian history!
7 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members
The Smithsonian has collaborated with the science and cultural heritage communities since its founding—what did that look like on a local level in 1889? Read more about the Smithsonian’s connections to everything from Congress to local university classes in this set of annual curator’s notes from the Department of Oriental Antiquities.