Browse Projects

43% Complete

81 Total Pages 50 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.


41% Complete

131 Total Pages 31 Contributing Members

Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting held on May 7, 1990

In this 1990 report, Smithsonian’s Board of Regents prepared for a vacancy in its membership, and a very familiar name was floated around. Enter future Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman. The nominating committee limited their choice to three candidates, but ultimately decided on Heyman, who was the Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. They justified their recommendation by explaining his availability, interest in museums, and track record of providing leadership and garnering financial support. The Board agreed and the rest is history. Join a group of volunpeers in transcribing this report which also addresses the Smithsonian’s financial problems, plans for the National Postal Museum, continued discussions about the location of the National Air and Space Museum extension, and more.


57% Complete

42 Total Pages 31 Contributing Members

Russell Greenberg - Field notes, Mexico, 1987

Commemorate World Migratory Bird Day by transcribing the field notes of Russell Greenberg, the ornithologist responsible for launching the annual celebration in 1993. Greenberg was the founding director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and established Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly Coffee program. He is also responsible for discovering that birds’ bills help regulate their body temperature. Before the center was even created, Greenberg recorded these notes on a trip to Mexico in 1987. He noted the times of his activities, weather, and birds he observed that day, among other details. Join a group of volunpeers in describing golden-fronted woodpeckers, tropical kingbirds, black-headed saltators, and so many more birds.


7% Complete

13 Total Pages 10 Contributing Members

Smithsonian Memories Project, 1996 – C. Booth

Following his retirement from a long military career between 1945 and 1968, Carvester Booth decided to take a vacation. He traveled to Washington, D.C, and went on a sightseeing tour of the Smithsonian museums. And there he remained for the next twenty-two years as a security officer. Booth really loved the Smithsonian. He began working for the National Air and Space Museum in 1976, the day before it opened, and protected various other museums on the National Mall. If you feel like a good listen and laugh, join a group of volunpeers in transcribing Booth’s interview from the 1996 Folklife Festival in which he recounts a typical day of an officer at the Smithsonian.


44% Complete

9 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

Smithsonian Memories Project, 1996 – N. Pope

When Nancy Pope scored an interview with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s National Philatelic Collection in 1984, she was ecstatic. She put the phone down, called a friend, and asked: “what does ‘philatelic’ mean.” For the next few years, she poured over stamps and postal history. Pope became such an expert that by the time the National Postal Museum opened in 1993, she curated the first exhibits. Today, she is the head curator of the museum. Pop your headphones in and join a group of volunpeers in transcribing Pope’s recollections, from her early days on the job to what it was like to open a new Smithsonian museum.


40% Complete

5 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

Smithsonian Memories Project, 1996 – S. Reinckens

When Sharon Reinckens arrived at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in 1983, she thought she was going to continue her work in exhibition design. What she quickly discovered, however, was that she was really a “community worker.” Join a group of volunpeers in transcribing an interview with Reinckens, deputy director of the museum, from the Smithsonian’s 1996 Folklife Festival. She recounted what it was like to work with founding director John Kinard, what it meant to serve in a community museum, and the various projects staff balanced there.


14% Complete

21 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Smithsonian Memories Project, 1996 – T. Vennum

Ethnomusicologist Tom Vennum helped coordinate the Smithsonian’s annual Folklife Festival for two decades, so it is only appropriate that he was interviewed at the Smithsonian Memories booth at the 1996 festival. As one may assume, the job came with many stresses, but also a lot of laughs. He tells one particularly amusing story about a German-American band that had a few too many drinks at the German Embassy. In the interview, Vennum also discussed his landmark work surrounding Native Americans and lacrosse, among other programs and publications. Join a group of volunpeers in transcribing Vennum’s career bringing music, and other forms of culture, to the Smithsonian.