The digital version of From Smithson to Smithsonian: The Birth of an Institution was adapted from an exhibition that appeared from July 1996 to January 1997 in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL) Exhibition Gallery in the National Museum of American History. It was one of the official projects that celebrated the 150th anniversary of the 1846 founding of the Smithsonian Institution. The gallery exhibition was supported by the 150th-Anniversary Committee and the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee. The digital version is supported in part by the Smithsonian's Educational Outreach Fund.
The late Ellen Baker Wells, former head of the Libraries' Special Collections Department, proposed the original idea for the exhibition. Both the gallery exhibition and this digital version were a collaborative effort of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the Office of the Smithsonian Institution Archives (including the Joseph Henry Papers), and the Architectural History and Historic Preservation Division. Guest curators are Pamela M. Henson, lead curator, Cynthia Field, Marc Rothenberg, Richard Stamm, and Lynn Wojcik.
Staff of the Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central designed, edited and produced the gallery exhibition. The Smithsonian Office of Imaging, Printing and Photographic Services assisted with photography for the gallery exhibition and provided additional services for the digital version. The opening screen image was digitized and adapted by Jennifer Nichols, Institutional History Division, Office of Smithsonian Institution Archives. Frances Kuo, intern at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries from Cornell University, keyed in the documents, and Joan Horn provided proofreading services. Michael Hendron is the pianist for the music to the "Smithsonian Polka" (1855).
Alan Smigielski, Smithsonian Office of Education, prepared the Lesson Plans.
WizardNet Inc. of Fairfax, Virginia designed and produced the digital version.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries' staff who worked on this project were Marcia Adams, William E. Baxter, Laudine Creighton, Tom Garnett, Anne Gifford, Nancy E. Gwinn, Martin R. Kalfatovic, Nancy L. Matthews, Kari Richardson, and Ellen Baker Wells.
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries thanks the following organizations which granted permission to use images of objects in their collections in this digital exhibition:
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
Antioch College, Antiochiana Collection, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Washington, D. C.
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