Friday Fun: American Museum of Natural History’s Digital Special Collections

When I lived in the Washington, D.C. area, I loved to visit the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian). I enjoyed it so much, that when I traveled to other cities I looked for other natural history & science museums to visit (in Denver, Seattle, Albuquerque, etc.). I’ve never been disappointed. But I don’t travel all that much, so thank goodness for the Internet!

The web sites of all of these museums are fascinating. This spring the American Museum of Natural History in New York City launched an online image database, which contains thousands of images of archival photographs, art, museum memorabilia, drawings and rare book illustrations from its visual collections. An example of what’s in store for virtual visitors to the Digital Special Collections is the Julian Dimock Collection: photos of nature (agricultural work, fishing, wildlife, birds) and people, including African Americans and Native Americans, in Southern states from about 1904 to 1911, and images of immigrants at Ellis Island. In addition, the database features “lantern slides created at the turn of the 20th century by Museum staff to illustrate culture, paleontology, and zoology in places as diverse as Greenland, Mongolia, and Africa” and “the Lumholtz Collection, which documents four expeditions led by ethnographer Carl S. Lumholtz to northwestern Mexico between 1890 and 1898 and includes portraits of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.” Browse the collections and enjoy!

screen shot of web page for Digital Special Collections, American Museum of Natural History

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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