Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's edition of Saturday Sharing takes you to the National Archives of two nations, tells you how to gain access to primary source documents related to scientific discoveries in the field of natural history, uncovers a museum in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to preserving metal type, introduces you to a still-new online magazine Nowhere, and features a nonprofit's creative efforts to put contemporary art in healthcare facilities to promote healing and inspire hope.

✭ The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has unveiled a Field Book Project, a joint venture with Smithsonian Institution Archives. The intent of the project is to establish a single online location for information about field books — original or primary source documents describing events and circumstances leading to the collection and description of biological specimens — and other field research materials important to scholars. Important as sources of information about scientific discoveries, the project's collections may include field journals, correspondence, sketches, notes, and other generally unpublished documents. An interesting post at The Bigger Picture, a visual archives blog, offers a look behind the scenes.

NMNH on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr

✭ The National Archives of the United Kingdom recently made available for viewing a significant collection of images spanning more than 100 years of African history. Those images, culled from a broader photographic collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office images, are available at Africa Through a Lens. On the same site are several podcasts, including one about the Africa images.

Africa Through a Lens on Flickr

✭ Our own National Archives has launched an "Inside the Vaults" series of video shorts to highlight new finds, report on complex technical subjects in lay terms, and, more generally, to give the public access to its collections, stories, and accomplishments. The film series is free to view and is distributed via a YouTube channel. Here's one of the most recent peeks inside the document preservation and conservation laboratory.

National Archives on FaceBook and Twitter

National Archives Blogs

✭ Back in the days, we sent out our news and feature stories to be hand-set in type. Well, we all know how much things have changed but, I'm delighted to report, it's still possible to see how a foundry works. C.C. Stern Type Foundry of Portland, Oregon, is a working museum dedicated, as its tagline reads, to "preserving the art and industry of the cast letterform". With one of the largest collections of Monotype casting matrices in the United States, the foundry makes metal type and decorative print elements and collaborates with a broad array of designers, letterpress printers, and book artists in the Pacific Northwest. Go here to read about the foundry's Typecasting Heritage Project and other initiatives, including its Kickstarter project, Adventures with Orphan Annie & Hot Metal Type (be sure to view the interesting video about the foundry's restoration efforts).

Foundry Blog

Foundry on Twitter

✭ The online Nowhere magazine describes itself as "a place between places, an imagined depot for stories from the road". Its current (third) issue touches down in India and Turkey, among other locales. In the Archives you'll find issues One and Two, both of which show just how far the writers are willing to go to collect and share their "found experiences" and art. You'll find some good reads here.

Nowhere on FaceBook

✭ A nonprofit organization, RxArt seeks to place original fine art in patient, procedure, and examination rooms of healthcare facilities to promote healing, inspire hope, and encourage artistic awareness and expression. Founded by former gallerist, art dealer, and consultant Diane Brown, RxArt is based in New York City. The RxArt collection includes work by such well-known artists as Frank Stella, William Wegman, Sol LeWitt, April Gornik, Louise Nevelson, and Fred Tomaselli. Information about RxArt installations is here. The organization also publishes a coloring book, Between the Lines, for children in partnering healthcare facilities.

RxArt on FaceBookTwitter, and Flickr

RxArt Blog


Dawn Potter said...

I'm so happy to learn about the type foundry. I really love letterpress.

Maureen said...

Thank you for reading, Dawn. I've been drawn to such presses since the first time I visited one in high school. I hope the Kickstarter project for C.C. Stern becomes a reality. The press is doing wonderful things.

M.L. Gallagher said...

When she says her work requires 'patience' the paper restorer is absolutely right!

Wow -- and how fascinating!

As always Maureen -- you are a treasure house of interesting perspectives of the world around us.

D.M. SOLIS said...

Wonderful post. But then, you had us at "Smithsonian." Peace and happy weekend,


D.M. SOLIS said...

Document restoration piece is great. Would be very good for career development course/counseling. Thanks, peace,


thelmaz said...

What fascinating sites. How do you find them? I'm especially interested in the one about placing art in hospitals. Great idea.

Cheryl Smith said...

I love beautiful paper and illustrations, especially as it relates to family documents, though am completely uneducated about such things. The video was captivating.

What struck me is that the archivist (is that the right word?) is so young. Makes me wonder how she became aware of her craft and what influenced her in that journey.