Special Operations Helmet Cam Firefight in Afghanistan
By Isaac Asimov
”Introductory Note. Unless you’re already well acquainted with our “national anthem,” this interesting piece by the late Isaac Asimov will be an eye-opener. It was for me. It’s especially appropriate at a time when there is much talk of tossing out this difficult-to-sing and difficult-to-comprehend old song in favor of something that better suits Ray Charles’ voice. You’ll understand the song much better after you read Mr. Asimov’s explanation.–Hardly Waite, Gazette Senior “
” Blogs across the Smithsonian will be giving an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blogathon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.
Over the past month, we’ve been highlighting the things that are in the Smithsonian Institution Archives for American Archives Month. But what about the things that aren’t in the archives of the Smithsonian?
In celebration of Archives Month, and to clear up any confusion once and for all, here are the top six Smithsonian archives related myths I (and our archivists) often hear:
The Smithsonian does not have a freezer full of individual snowflakes in its archives (neither in our collections or any of the other archives across the Smithsonian). I see this one on Twitter all the time, and though it’s amazing sounding, it’s not true. However, we do have some incredible photographs of individual snowflakes in our collections, made by “Snowflake” Bentley in the early 1900s. (PS: You can see more of these photos on the Flickr Commons, and we even have some nifty craft templates made from Bentley’s snowflakes for you to use—perfect as the weather gets frostier!) “
” This online collection provides access to about 7,000 different views and portraits made during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and its immediate aftermath. The images represent the original glass plate negatives made under the supervision of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner as well as the photographic prints in the Civil War photographs file in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room. These negatives and prints are sometimes referred to as the Anthony-Taylor-Rand-Ordway-Eaton Collection to indicate the previous owners. The Library purchased the negatives in 1943.
Search tip for this collection: Try putting in very few search terms, particularly when searching for people (for example, try just the person’s last name). For more information, see the Arrangement & Access section.
Many additional Civil War images are in other collections, including drawings, prints, and photograph albums to name a few.”
” Ask anyone to name an iconic scientist and most people will say Albert Einstein. He was his generation’s greatest physicist as well as an international celebrity and humanitarian. Many people can tell you at least something about his renowned Theory of Relativity, though the details probably elude them right now.
Einstein’s fame extends to pop culture, where photos of the eminent scientist can be seen plastered on mugs, t-shirts, postcards, and internet memes. Though many images are well known — Einstein framed by his wild hair sticking his tongue out at the camera — there are still a good number that rarely see the light of day.
In honor of the 90th anniversary of Albert Einstein winning the Nobel Prize in physics, we are presenting a collection of photographs — some famous, some rare — that exemplify this singular man. The images come from the Bettmann Archive, a collection of more than 11 million historical photographs owned by Corbis Images. “