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53% Complete

39 Total Pages 16 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderón - Brasil 1976, 4

Slow and steady wins the race. At least it did for agrostologist Cleofé Calderón, who collected and worked with grasses, especially bamboo, for Smithsonian’s U.S. National Herbarium from 1965 to 1987. She is remembered by her colleagues for her consistent, high quality work, which, of course took time. According to one account, “Cleo would not be hurried, often to the consternation of those accompanying her.” And this is evident in her field notes, as she recorded specific measurements of specimens and details about the types of photographs she took. Additionally, rather than place specimens in bags to press later, Calderón and her assistants pressed the specimens, with plenty of duplicates, while still in the field. Assist us in helping make Calderón’s scientific contributions and legacy available to researchers. One quick note: Calderon’s handwriting is part of this challenge, but you can explore how past volunpeers have tackled her handwriting in previous projects.


19% Complete

31 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderón - Brasil 1978

Cleofé Calderón’s organizational skills are shining again in this field book from her trip to Brazil in 1978. Like in many of her notes, she organizes the specimens she collected by name and number, and even often the dates she collected them. One thousand of these collections, mostly bamboos, made their ways to the U.S. National Herbarium during her career. One of Calderón’s most significant discoveries was actually the rediscovery of the Anomochloa, a tropical forest grass, in 1976. Overall, her collections have been such an important contribution to grass systematics not only for the quality of specimens she collected, but also for her close attention to detail. Aid us in transcribing Calderón 's work to make the high quality of her research well known to a wider audience. Fair warning, Calderón's handwriting can be a little difficult to read, but you can revisit past transcription projects to examine how volunpeers have tackled her work.


16% Complete

37 Total Pages 9 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderón - Brasil 1979, 0

Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to make ends "meat" doing the research you love. Fortunately, Cleofé Calderón had professional training as a chef and was a skilled cook. After an extended trip to Brazil in 1979, Calderón moved to another office in the U.S. National Herbarium and turned to catering for a short period of time in order to support herself. Apparently, her skills were well known throughout the herbarium, as attendance spiked at the Friday afternoon tea times when it was Calderón’s turn to bring refreshments. This transcription project is just one field book of notes from her long 1979 trip to Brazil. Help the Archives make Calderón’s important research accessible to a wider audience by transcribing this project. Though Calderón’s handwriting can be challenging to read, you can view how volunpeers have transcribed her previous projects.


62% Complete

32 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderón - Brasil 1979, Amazonia #1

During her lifetime, agrostologist Cleofé Calderón was a teacher and mentor, and proved she deserved a seat at the table. As early as 1966, around the same time Calderón began collecting for the Smithsonian, she assisted Dr. Richard W. Pohl in teaching a course on agrostology at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. In 1981, she once again proved herself, but this time at the last minute. Her colleague, Dr. Thomas R. Soderstrom, at the U.S. National Herbarium was too ill to travel to Colombia for a workshop and Calderón stepped in to fill his place. Her leadership at the bamboo symposium was so successful and popular that she was asked to organize another workshop the following year in Ecuador. But she also shared her expertise in less formal settings as a mentor to many aspiring students. Help transcribe these field notes, which will allow Calderón's legacy and teachings to live on for researchers today. Calderón's handwriting can be a little difficult to read, so feel free to see how volunpeers have transcribed her work.


12% Complete

81 Total Pages 14 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderón - Brasil 1979, Amazonia #3

The sheer number of specimens agrostologist Cleofé Calderón collected for the Smithsonian, evidenced in this 1979 notebook, make it hard to believe that in just a few years, Calderón completely retired from botany. She remained in Washington after stepping away from the U.S. National Herbarium in 1985, but rarely returned to the Smithsonian, especially after her longtime professional partner Dr. Tom Soderstrom passed away in 1987. After breaking from the field, Calderón worked at a bibliographic service before retiring and returning to Argentina in 2005. Just two years later, she passed away. Your assistance in transcribing this project will ensure that Cleofé Calderón’s important work will not be forgotten. Calderón's handwriting can be a little difficult to read, so feel free to see how volunpeers have transcribed her work.


97% Complete

145 Total Pages 30 Contributing Members

Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting held on May 11, 1987

To what extent did Smithsonian’s Board of Regents make decisions according to what is “morally right”? This exact phrase came up in this May 1987 meeting, in which the Board voted to divest the $32 million in stocks that Smithsonian still had in companies with operations in South Africa during the period of apartheid. But the decision was certainly not without debate. Some Regents opposed targeting South Africa, when other nations were violating human rights, as well, and argued that the government, not the companies, were to blame. In the end, the Assist us in transcribing these meeting minutes to better understand why Smithsonian decided to divest, choosing to “lead, not simply comply” in protest of apartheid.


6% Complete

143 Total Pages 7 Contributing Members

Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting held on September 28, 1987

The tragic fire at Notre Dame brings the issue of emergency preparedness and collections care to the forefront. In this 1987 Board of Regents report, the Regents discuss such threats to the National Museum of Natural History. For instance, due to asbestos throughout the building, artifacts needed to be moved off site. The project, however, would not be completed for another three to five years. Additionally, the report noted that the majority of the HVAC systems were old and unable to regulate temperatures in storage spaces. Fire protection tactics, like adding sprinklers and alarm systems, were also addressed in this plan. Assist us in transcribing these proceedings to learn how museums consider caring for collections.


73% Complete

52 Total Pages 22 Contributing Members

Vernon Bailey - Field notes, California, September 8-October 24, 1911

Bureau of Biological Survey naturalist Vernon Bailey carried around this small, pocket-sized notebook, which is smaller than one of today’s smart phones, on his trip to California in 1911. But who needs a smartphone? Instead of the Calendar app, he wrote his trip agenda clearly on the first page. Rather than typing his observations in the Notes app, he jotted down the genus and species he saw in this notebook, sometimes while riding horseback. And as for taking quick photographs using the Camera app, Bailey had something even better. He pressed small plants he found in the pages to study in person. Okay, maybe it would be nice to have a typed version of these notes, but we’re hoping you and a team of volunpeers will help transcribe this important information.