a Galaxy of Knowledge
wasn't so long ago that, if you wanted to find something out, you
walked to the library, fingered your way through a card catalog,
wrote down a number, and then went to a shelf to find the book.
Yet in the span of less than a generation, low-cost household computers
and the Internet have forever changed the way that people seek information.
The Libraries has adapted to this new world. In addition to our
print collections, our staff members now employ more than 200 computers
and other technological equipment in their daily work, and these
must be replaced every three to four years. Far from being made
obsolete, the skills of librarians have never been more important
to helping users navigate this new world, while reminding them that
the traditional print world still exists.
of Knowledge, the Smithsonian Libraries' public Web site,
opens the treasures of the Smithsonian Libraries to all. Devoted
to sharing our collections and interpreting them for the American
public and the world, Galaxy of Knowledge presents
beautiful, full-text digital editions of rare and valuable Smithsonian
books along with expert reference service and guides to many of
our specialized collections. No longer will it be necessary to visit
our locations in person to see and use these materials. From the
exploring fingers of kindergartners to senior citizens, a worldwide
audience of book lovers, students, scientists, and bibliographers
will find beautiful illustrations and texts organized in the areas
of Science, American Discovery, Art and Design, and Technology and
Industry. Each digital edition carries historical background material
prepared by Libraries' staff and subject specialists that is valued
by researchers, book connoisseurs, and teachers.
equal interest are the Libraries' online exhibitions, which are
designed to showcase portions of the Libraries' collections in conjunction
with museum artifacts that add meaning to the stories they tell.
Both a complement to the Libraries' exhibition gallery in Washington,
D.C., and a means of organizing far more exhibitions than are physically
possible in the gallery alone, the Libraries can bring many of its
riches to light on the Internet.
To help fill the Galaxy of Knowledge with stars from our
collections and to deliver digital collections and exhibitions that
meet the highest professional standards, partners in discovery can
a vastly expanded program for digitizing the collection
a digital library internship program
the additional imaging equipment and staff needed to mount more
than 500,000 pages from our books, manuscripts, exhibitions and
the state-of-the-art equipment and software needed to constantly
improve the Libraries' technological infrastructure
Preserving and Exhibiting Collections