Happy Holidays from the Libraries!
 
 
Warmest thoughts and best wishes this festive season! Click on the dancing lady illustration above to view our holiday greeting card, or follow this link.  this link. 
Shop the BHL Holiday Collection!

Get ready for the holidays by shopping the new Holiday Collection in the Biodiversity Heritage Library store! The collection features greeting cards, ornaments, mugs, and some fun holiday-themed gifts.100% of the proceeds will be used to digitize more books for BHL.

BHL, headquartered at Smithsonian Libraries, provides free and open online access to library collections from around the world. Researchers rely on these collections to study and conserve biodiversity. Learn more about how BHL helps save biodiversity and how your purchase can have a lasting, positive impact on our planet. Visit the Biodiversity Heritage Library website to explore over 50 million pages of free biodiversity literature. Visit BHL's Flickr to search over 100,000 free natural history illustrations.
23rd Annual Dibner Library Lecture
 
You're invited to our 23rd Annual Dibner Lecture, Color in the Scientific Image, on Friday, January 13, at 6:00 p.m. at the National Museum of American History's Warner Bros. Theater. This free event features speaker Mazviita Chirimuuta from the department of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. Please RSVP online; you may also RSVP at 202.633.2241 or silrsvp@si.edu.
 
Do colors exist or are they merely an illusion? The posing of color as a challenge to our habitual belief in the reality of the visual world is commonly thought to stem back to the so-called scientific revolution of the 17th century. Between the wars of the last century, historians and philosophers like Burtt, Husserl, and Whitehead gave us highly influential narratives in which the mathematized and mechanical physical sciences of Galileo and Newton (amongst others) formed a new metaphysical picture which stripped colors away from objective nature. In this lecture, Dr. Chirimuuta will reconsider the narrative, suggesting that the puzzle of fitting color into the scientific image really took shape in the 19th century, with the appearance of a mechanistic science of the brain and nervous system. 
BHL Welcomes New Member
 
In December 2016, the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN) in France joined the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) consortium as a Member. MNHN will enhance BHL's collection by contributing rare and unique material from the Muséum's library, including the entire collection of MNHN scientific publications from 1802 to 2000. The library will also contribute to the expansion of global collection development strategies and facilitate partnerships with other institutions in France and throughout Europe. The BHL consortium now consists of 17 Members and 16 Affiliates.

Photo:  Ceremony and Certificate of Membership Signing at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle on December 2, 2016. From left to right: Dr. Bruno David (President of the Muséum), Martin R. Kalfatovic (BHL Program Director), Laurence Bénichou (Head and Publications Manager, Museum Science Press, MNHN), Dr. Nancy E. Gwinn (Chair of the BHL Members' Council and Director of Smithsonian Libraries), Gildas Illien (Director of Libraries and Documentation, MNHN). Image courtesy of JC Domenech, MNHN.
The Future of Learning
 
Join us for a lecture, The Future of Learning: How will people learn the skills they need for academe, work, and life?, on Thursday, January 26, at 11:00 a.m. in the National Museum of Natural History's Q?rius Theater. Daniel Russell is Google's Uber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness. He earned his PhD in computer science at the University of Rochester (1985), specializing in Artificial Intelligence until he realized that magnifying human intelligence was his real passion.

What does it means to be literate in the age of Google? At a time when you can search billions of texts in milliseconds, we need to rethink what it means to be literate, and to be a learner. Although you might think that "literacy" is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding. Russell will review what literacy means today and show how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead.  The event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited. To reserve your space, please RSVP here . The event will be webcast as well as recorded for later viewing.
VAULT: Volunteer Advisory Group for Libraries by Teens
 
Led by Sara Cardello, education specialist, the fall session of our teen council, VAULT, worked on the Libraries' flagship education program, I See Wonder. The teens designed roles for teenagers to get involved in the creation of the resources, developed a marketing plan, and created a digital scavenger hunt, taking users across all 22 I See Wonder collections.

In its second year, VAULT is comprised of dedicated high school students to advise the Libraries on how to better engage with a teen audience. Members design and implement teen programming and build Smithsonian Libraries' national outreach to a younger and more varied audience. During this process, the council has opportunities to see what is behind the vault door in our library collections across the museums. If you know a teen who might be interested in joining the council, visit our website for more information
#ManyHatsofHolmes  
 
From November 28 to December 9, the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Smithsonian Field Book Project, and Smithsonian Transcription Center hosted the #ManyHatsofHolmes transcription event.
 
William Henry Holmes was an important figure of the Smithsonian throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. He held many positions such as head of the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology and the director for the original National Gallery of Art (what became the Smithsonian American Art Museum). His interests in art, anthropology, geology, and archeology led him to a variety of careers. For this event, we invited the public to help us transcribe the digitized volumes of William Henry Holmes' Random Records of a Lifetime, 1846-1931, to discover more about his expeditions, adventures, and Smithsonian days. View a behind-the-scenes look at his work in the Smithsonian American Art Museum with curator Eleanor Harvey and librarian Anne Evenhaugen; read more about him in blog posts here and here; and view one of the books transcribed during the event.
 
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