Browse Projects


11% Complete

132 Total Pages 9 Contributing Members

Arthur Stelfox--Diary of hymenoptera, 1934-35, Vol. 6

Did you know that forty percent of the world’s invertebrate pollinator species, like bees, are now facing extinction? Part of helping solve the complex pollinator crisis is understanding these insects’ history. Get a crucial look at Ireland’s pollinators with the field notes of naturalist Arthur Stelfox, who specialized in Hymenoptera and collected insects throughout Ireland. Join other digital volunteers in transcribing his 1934-35 field notes for the next generation of entomologists!


86% Complete

101 Total Pages 64 Contributing Members

Bohumil Shimek -- Field Notes and Diary, Audubon and Shelby counties, Iowa, 1912-13

Audobon, Iowa was established in 1878 and was named after a scientist of world-renown, both then and today—ornithologist John James Audubon. Decades later, Audobon would become a center of ornithology research for another naturalist, Bohumil Shimek. Shimek, a native Iowan who went on to study and teach at the University of Iowa, conducted field work in Audobon and Shelby counties in 1912-13. Explore Shimek’s field notes—and the birds of Audobon—and help transcribe them for future generations of naturalists!


36% Complete

162 Total Pages 18 Contributing Members

Edmund Heller—Handwritten China journal, Vol. 1

More than 8,000 miles separate Washington D.C. from the Yunnan Province of China—what was it like to travel between them over 100 years ago? Find out with zoologist Edmund Heller’s field notes from the American Museum of Natural History’s expedition to China, 1916-1917. Heller, who worked as a naturalist on many Smithsonian-led expeditions throughout the 1900s, joined the New York City museum’s trip to the Yunnan Province. Head off on an expedition to China and help transcribe the first in a series of Heller’s field notes!


48% Complete

35 Total Pages 42 Contributing Members

H. G. Dyar, Bluebook 197-212, 1890-1895

Have you ever heard of Dyar's Law? The now-standard biological rule measures the development of moths and butterflies and is named after National Museum of Natural History entomologist Harrison G. Dyar. Before there could be Dyar's Law, however, there first had to be Dyar's field work! This set of notes details Dyar's work in 1890-95 through New York, and includes specimen numbers, dates, and other collecting observations. Explore the beginnings of Dyar's Law and help other volunteers transcribe this important scientific text.


16% Complete

135 Total Pages 34 Contributing Members

H. G. Dyar, Bluebook 213-270, 1890-1896

What do Dixa dyari, Euleucophaeus dyari, and 70 other insect species have in common? Their scientific names all pay tribute to the same scientist--National Museum of Natural History entomologist Harrison G. Dyar. Dyar devoted his life to taxonomy, and classified thousands of new species of butterflies, moths, and mosquitoes, in his lifetime. This field book documents his research from 1890-96 in New York and California. Learn more about Dyar's groundbreaking research and help transcribe his field notes!


9% Complete

109 Total Pages 22 Contributing Members

Martin H. Moynihan - Ring-billed Gulls, Pelican Island-Doglake, Manitoba, Canada, 1954-55

Ring-billed gulls—one of the most common species in North America—often nest near the Canadian coasts. But where do these birds travel in colder weather? Track the migration of the ring-billed gulls of Canada with Martin H. Moynihan’s 1954-55 field notes. Moynihan, a biologist and ornithologist, was founding director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. In celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, join in on transcribing Moynihan’s field notes!


89% Complete

79 Total Pages 21 Contributing Members

Martin H. Moynihan- Gulls in North America (California, Chincoteague, and Bronx Zoo)

Did you know that the 1973 Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to three ornithologists, including Dr. Nikolaas Tinbergen? The award was given for their work uncovering social patterns in animals—a topic that was sure to have interested behavioral evolutionary biologist Martin Moynihan! Moynihan—an ornithologist and founding director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute—wrote to Tinbergen while observing gulls throughout parts of North America. Find out more about their correspondence, and the rest of Moynihan’s research, by helping transcribe this set of field notes!


35% Complete

125 Total Pages 39 Contributing Members

Martin H. Moynihan- Gulls in South America (Chile, Peru)

Did you know that gulls can be found on every continent, including Antarctica? Regardless of where each species of gull breeds, many also migrate—moving from colder to warmer climates during the winter. Learn more about the migration patterns of gulls with this set of field notes from Founding Director of STRI, Martin H. Moynihan. These observations were taken by Moynihan in South America, including Chile and Peru. What better time than International Migratory Bird Day to transcribe Moynihan’s migration data? Join in!


93% Complete

129 Total Pages 19 Contributing Members

Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting, January 25, 1977

Did you know that the Smithsonian’s beginnings were in Great Britain? James Smithson—the Smithsonian’s founding donor, who established the Institution in the 1800s—was a British citizen. Those “special bonds between the Institution and Great Britain” were part of the 1977 exhibition in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. Learn more about the exhibition, and connections to the Smithsonian abroad, in this set of minutes from the Board of Regents’ January 25, 1977 meeting. Then join in on transcribing this new look at Smithsonian history!


50% Complete

150 Total Pages 15 Contributing Members

Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting, May 13, 1977

As we prepare for this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival, let’s take a look back at the festival’s planning forty years ago! What was the preparation like—from presentation logistics, down to including the work of museum curators? Get new insight into the planning behind the Folklife Festival with this collection of meeting minutes from the Smithsonian Board of Regents’ May 1977 meeting. Among other topics, the regents discussed fundraising and planning for the summer’s festival!