Browse Projects

44% Complete

81 Total Pages 51 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.


69% Complete

131 Total Pages 36 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 32 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.


61% Complete

13 Total Pages 13 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.


14% Complete

21 Total Pages 9 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.


46% Complete

28 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

USNM - Curators Annual Reports - Department of Fishes: Annual Report, 1891-1892

No one would call U.S. National Museum Curator of Fishes Tarleton H. Bean lazy. In fact, Bean was so busy in the year 1891-92, splitting his time between the U.S. Fish Commission and his duties with the Smithsonian, that he admittedly barely did much at the museum. Fortunately, Bean still focused on collecting for the department of fishes during expeditions with the commission. For instance, some of the specimen collected during the commission’s trips aboard the steamer Albatross, through the North Pacific and Bering Sea, found their ways to the museum’s collections. Dive in with a group of volunpeers to read more about the 554 new specimens added and numerous publications written by the division.


17% Complete

23 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

USNM - Curators Annual Reports - Department of Fishes: Annual Report, 1892-1893

With the 1893 Columbian Exposition less than a year away, U.S National Museum's curator Tarleton Bean is appointed by President Benjamin Harrison to take charge of the United States Fish Commission's work for the Exposition. This leaves the general management of the Department of Fishes and its collections to the assistant curator for most of the 1892-1893 fiscal year. However, the department also had its own exhibit to prepare for the Exposition. Join us in transcribing this annual report from Fishes Curator Bean and learn more about the Smithsonian's involvement in the Exposition also known as the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.