{ subscribe_url:'//blogs.loc.gov/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/inside_adams.php' }

Pic of the Week: Scientific Treasures

Journals from the Wilbur and Orville Wright Brothers Collection, Library of Congress, June 26, 2012. Photograph by J. Harbster

This week I participated in the Science at Risk: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Online Science meeting hosted by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). During this two-day meeting the Library’s recently-retired manuscript specialist Len Bruno took us on a journey through the scientific treasures of the Library’s  Manuscript Division. On display were items such as Jefferson’s plans/instructions for a pasta machine, Morse’s first telegraph message, Jon Von Neumann’s folder and notes on the atomic bomb, and Herman Hollerith’s punch cards and templates.  These collections provoked me to reflect upon the variety of materials produced by scientists and, in turn, what ends up being collected and preserved by institutions. I also contemplated about the types of material that can be collected from current and future scientists- blogs, laptops, mobile devices, virtual notebooks …?

Our picture of the week features one of the collections on display- the original journals from the Wright Brothers.  Although the journals have been digitized and are available in the Wilbur and Orville Wright Brothers Papers , the digital surrogates do not compare to the physical presence of these little books in which the brothers logged their experiments with flying. So I wonder…when we make the first manned flight to Mars, what sort of original  material will we collect and preserve?

One Comment

  1. Mario Medrano
    January 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Fabulous collection!

    Thanks for share us.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.