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36% Complete

33 Total Pages 10 Contributing Members

Bird Head Drawings, Box 32

Fourteen year old Robert Ridgway saw a bird near his home that he couldn't identify. His desire to know was so strong that he wrote to the commissioner of patents, who, knowing little about birds, passed on this boy's letter and drawing to ornithological authority Spencer Baird. Professor Baird wrote back that the bird was a Purple Finch thus beginning a regular correspondence between young Ridgway and the second Secretary of the Smithsonian. Years later, Ridgway joined the Smithsonian and made international contributions in the areas of systematic nomenclature and color studies.   Please help us transcribe the notations on these bird head drawings from his personal papers using the special instructions under READ MORE.

2% Complete

35 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

Bird Head Drawings, Box 33

How can a hand-drawn image capture the tiny details of a bird's unique feathering? An illustrator's steady hand and eye for detail are essential. And so are systematic standards for colors and color nomenclature. These are drawings from ornithologist Robert Ridgway's personal papers. His color studies and systematic approach for naming species and coloring has influenced zoology in North America and internationally. Help us transcribe this box of drawings using the special instructions under READ MORE.

90% Complete

126 Total Pages 33 Contributing Members

Bohumil Shimek - Diary, European trip, 1914 (1 of 2)

** If you can read Czech, we need you! Help us and other digital volunteers to finish transcribing Shimek's first volume of notes from his trip to Europe on the eve of World War I. ** Practicing a new language on your first trip to Europe? Surveyor-turned-naturalist Bohumil Shimek was working on Czech when he traveled from Iowa to Prague as an exchange professor of botany in 1914. Just before open hostilities broke out in what became known as the Great War or World War I. A son of Czech immigrants, Shimek came to be well known for his contributions to the field of botany in North America - over 205,000 plant specimens. Take note, he writes in English and Czech! English speakers may want to start here, a few pages in. You also might enjoy this blog post about his trip.

29% Complete

67 Total Pages 18 Contributing Members

Cephalopoda (Squid) 1971-1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1982 (1 of 3)

What can a squid (cephalopoda) tell us? Martin Moynihan's lifework was studying biodiversity in the tropics. You may have seen earlier transcription projects of Moynihan's field notes about birds and monkeys. In this one, he has pulled together his notes studying squid from different expeditions including to the San Blas archipelago on the Atlantic Ocean side of Panama and to places spanning the Pacific Ocean: Islas Secas, Guam and Lizard Island east of Queensland, Australia. Help us transcribe these field notes and get a glimpse of what kinds of details this biologist found especially noteworthy.

22% Complete

58 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

Cleofé Calderon - Brasil 1972, 2

Not all bamboo is alike. In the second half of the 20th century, new genera and species of the grass subfamily Bambusoideae were being described as a result of explorations in Central and South America. Among the most prolific researchers collecting and describing new species of bamboo were Cleofé E. Calderon (1929-2007) and her colleague Thomas R. Soderstrom (1936-1987). All of their research was conducted with the National Museum of Natural History, and their collaboration produced scores of papers in botanical journals. This field book contains a list of botanical specimens, mainly bamboo, collected by Dr. Calderon from 26 April to 13 May 1972 in Brazil with notes from Panama the previous year. Help us transcribe these field notes documenting taxonomic names of specimens, soil samples, temperatures, and photo records and learn more about her work in the Brazilian fall of 1972.

10% Complete

46 Total Pages 14 Contributing Members

Harrison G. Dyar - Bluebook 158-196

Butterflies live on almost every continent. Less widely known than bees as pollinating insects, butterflies are admittedly less valuable than bees when it comes to commercial agriculture. However, butterflies and moths are very sensitive to changes in the environment. Because of this, they are valuable early indicators of ecosystem changes. At the turn of the 20th century, Harrison G. Dyar's study of lepidoptera larvae revealed that their growth followed a predictable geometric progression. Changes in this progression point to potentially significant changes in the environment.  Help us transcribe this volume of Dyar's collecting notes and observations to make this firsthand knowledge more accessible to scholars and researchers.  Also, if you are also interested in bees, you may want to explore the Bumblebees transcription projects.

82% Complete

537 Total Pages 378 Contributing Members

Joseph Henry’s Record of Experiments

** Help us review our volunteers' transcriptions and bring these volumes to 100% complete! ** Already well known by the 1830's for his scientific vision and passion to see scientific discipline increase in America, Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was to become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. A physicist and scientific pioneer, Henry kept this handwritten record of his research in this 3 volumes, begun during the last half of the 1830's while a professor of natural philosophy at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. Filling three volumes, his Record of Experiments spans almost three decades of work in electromagnetism, light, telegraphy and a number of other scientific topics. Help us transcribe this Record of Experiments of an American scientist who pursued knowledge for over four decades and worked to shape and guide the Institution, furthering its intellectual reach and diffusion of knowledge.

Subprojects

13% Complete

90 Total Pages 12 Contributing Members

Journal of Richard E. Blackwelder, West Indies, vol. 6

Richard Blackwelder, an entomologist from Stanford University, received a scholarship from 1935 to 1938 to conduct scientific studies outside of the United States. During this time, he collected and studied insects in the West Indies, especially beetles. Volume 6 of Blackwelder's field notes pick up exactly where Volume 5 left off on 27 October 1936. Having moved on from Saint Kitts to Saint Croix, another island in the Carribbean Sea, Blackwelder continued to study insects there, especially beetles. He includes careful description of his surrounding environment, elevations, weather information, abundance and how his specimens were obtained. Join us in transcribing this field book and making it more accessible to today's scientists and researchers. Difficulty: low.

31% Complete

99 Total Pages 14 Contributing Members

Negative Log Book Number 13, (80-20261 to 82-531)

Help us unlock the Smithsonian's visual history by transcribing this log of photographs taken between 1980 and 1982 in order to recover information from our endlessly fascinating visual past! Capturing this aspect of the Smithsonian began in 1869 when Thomas William Smillie started the valuable photographic catalog. In 1971, the Smithsonian Photographic Services (SPS) was established, continuing the legacy of a century’s worth of photography. Its photographers brought the camera's power to the Smithsonian's unique set of museums, archives and research centers. Their handwritten record, captured in the “green logbooks,” documents about 3 million photographic negatives. Join our digital volunteers and unlock the only “key” to these photographic collections.

0% Complete

92 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

Negative Log Book Number 14, (82-532 to 83-3726)

Help us unlock the Smithsonian's visual history by transcribing this log of photographs taken between 1980 and 1982 in order to recover information from our endlessly fascinating visual past! Capturing this aspect of the Smithsonian began in 1869 when Thomas William Smillie started the valuable photographic catalog. In 1971, the Smithsonian Photographic Services (SPS) was established, continuing the legacy of a century’s worth of photography. Its photographers brought the camera's power to the Smithsonian's unique set of museums, archives and research centers. Their handwritten record, captured in the “green logbooks,” documents about 3 million photographic negatives. Join our digital volunteers and unlock the only “key” to these photographic collections.

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