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Found 361 Collections

 

Conflict, Identity, and Place in American Art (2019)

This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place.  Teachers can use these artworks for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion, with an extended version of Project Zero's See, Think, Wonder thinking routine.  In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:

  1. Why did you pick this artwork?  
  2. What do you see?  Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.
  3. What do you think about what you see?
  4. What does this artwork make you wonder
  5. Optional: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by Phoebe Hillemann, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, featured in the 2019 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art."  

These artworks serve as foundational museum resources in lesson concepts that are accessible by searching the Smithsonian Learning Lab with the hashtag: #SAAMTeach.

Ashley Naranjo
40
 

Teaching Critical Thinking through Art with the National Gallery of Art

The resources in this collection are pulled directly from the National Gallery of Art’s online course Teaching Critical Thinking through Art. Based on the popular Art Around the Corner professional development program for teachers in Washington, D.C., this five-unit online course provides everything you need to begin creating a culture of critical thinking and collaboration for any classroom, subject, or level. You do not need an art background or museum access to successfully integrate the course materials into your teaching. Your willingness to experiment with new teaching practices is all that is required.

Find demonstrations, lesson plans, and videos here on the edX platform! Now in English, Español, Français, and 简体中文

nga_mooc
11
 

Making Cultural Connections in Pre-AP World Geography

This adapted collection includes resources for ninth-grade Pre-AP World Geography students. After studying the aspects of culture in the Human Geography unit, students will focus on the culture of the United States and Canada in Unit 4. 

Using the collection, students will explain the impact of immigration on American culture. Students will also develop questions and research how their ethnic groups and culture are reflected in the art and history of North America and connected to regions of the world.

 #EthnicStudies

Melissa Blohm
35
 

National History Day: American Immigrant Experiences

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

These resources - including objects, documents, websites, and articles - reveal challenges and opportunities experienced by American immigrants in the 19th to mid-20th centuries.  Resources highlight hardships that compelled people to leave their homelands, difficulties immigrants faced upon arrival, and ways they overcame obstacles to build new lives and communities in America.  The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

The history of immigration in America is an immense topic, and this collection addresses only aspects of it.  Use this collection to brainstorm project topics, find connected resources, and as a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!

Tags: 1800s, 1900s angel island, ellis island, immigration test, community, prejudice, irish, jewish, syrian, lebanese, arab, italian, mexican, german, greek, bohemian, czech, slovenian, know nothing, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, swedish, chinese exclusion act, japanese american incarceration, internment, bracero program, stories project, #NHD

Rubina Pantoja
128
 

Activism: Then & Now

This collection focuses on using primary resources from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to help students examine how activism is viewed in our country. 

From the First Resource: Today, our nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a stoic leader during a tumultuous time in our nation's history who brought about significant positive change by pursuing civil rights for Americans of color. However, MLK's activism was not beloved by an entire nation during his lifetime. We can explore the sacrifices he made in his endless pursuit of civil rights, his mistreatment by the systems he spoke out against, and the patterns that have been applied to contemporary activists now.  

#EthnicStudies

Wendilyn Ilund
6
 

The California Gold Rush: A Journey to the Goldfields

James Marshall's famous discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Colma forever changed the landscape, economy and culture of California due to the mass migrations of 300,000 people. Rumors of gold's discovery spread quickly, and was confirmed by President Polk in an address to Congress. The news spread to countries around the world.

The journey to California was long and dangerous. The three major routes were: around Cape Horn by ship (six to eight months), the Isthmus of Panama (two to three months), and the Overland trail (three to five months). By ship, dangers included: ship wrecks, lack of food and water, seasickness and disease. Ships that survived the long journeys arrived to the ports of San Francisco, where migrants had to continue their journey to the Sierra Nevada foothills.  

Traveling 2,000 miles on the Overland Trail by foot and wagon exposed travelers to other dangers such as misinformed trails, and a lack of food and water. Travelers were exposed to inclimate weather while crossing deadly rivers, deserts, and high mountain passes. Only the very basic necessities including food, water, wagons, stock, hunting tools, blacksmithing tools, clothing, blankets, sewing kits, medical supplies would be taken for the journey.   

On the Overland Trail, many miners joined companies. These companies were made up of people with various skills; such as, carpentry, medicine, navigation, hunting, blacksmithing and wheelwrights. The likelihood of surviving these long and dangerous journeys increased significantly for those individuals who joined companies. If a company survived the journey to California on the Overland Trail, the company also had a higher likelihood of success in gold mining. Individuals within the company could stake multiple gold mining claims and the gold would then be divided among the people of the company. During the gold rush, individuals were only allowed to own one claim.  


columbiastatehistoricpark
16
 

Hawaiian Monarchs

This topical collection includes resources related to the eight monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  In order of succession, the monarchs are: Kamehameha I (r. 1810 - 1819); Kamehameha II (r. 1819 - 1824); Kamehameha III (r. 1825 -  1854); Kamehameha IV (r. 1855 - 1863); Kamehameha V (r. 1863 - 1872); Lunalilo (r. 1873 - 1874); Kalākaua (r. 1874 - 1891); and Liliʻuokalani (r. 1891 - 1893).  

The Kingdom of Hawaii was established as a constitutional monarchy in 1810 by King Kamehameha I.  In 1893, a coup led by American businessmen driven by sugar and pineapple business interests in the Hawaiian islands overthrew Queen Lili'uokalani.  Despite native protests and Lili'uokalani's efforts to reclaim the throne, the United States annexed Hawaii as a territory in 1898.  Hawaii became an American state in 1959.

This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for further research and study.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Keywords: Kamamalu, Emma, Kapi'olani, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, Liliuokalani, Hawaiian, royals, royalty

#APA2018

Tess Porter
37
 

California Gold Rush Era Mining Technique Photos

Mining techniques evolved over time with development of larger mining companies. These photos also show cultural diversity during the California Gold Rush. 

columbiastatehistoricpark
14
 

Triumph and Tragedy: U.S. Reconstruction, 1865-1877

This collection brings together Smithsonian and other federal resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History." #NHD2019


These resources - including photographs, broadsides, political cartoons, publications, correspondence, ledger books, and government documents - explore the varying experiences, political arguments, and consequences of the period following the American Civil War, known as Reconstruction. Resources highlight the opposing ideas for and against Reconstruction policies - and their consequences - by the federal government and its citizens, including political leaders and activists. Also included are digital resources related to Constitutional Amendments passed during this era, supporting secondary resources, and various cartoons, broadsides, speeches, and imagery portraying the African American response to Reconstruction policies and the promises of citizenship and equal rights. Other primary source documents included provide a glimpse into how Reconstruction may have affected individual lives and businesses, and links to digitized collections (and corresponding transcriptions) of thousands of documents from the U.S. Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research. 

Tags: Civil War, Reconstruction, U.S. Reconstruction, postwar, South, perspective, politics, southern democrats, Radical Republicans, African Americans, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, art, photographs, political cartoons, military, 19th century, 1800s, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Hiram Revels, amendments, #NHD

Smithsonian Transcription Center
49
 

Exploration of Different Gold Mining Tools and Techniques

Historical images of placer gold mining tools and techniques used in Columbia, CA may be used for learning different placer gold mining techniques. These visual aids may provide a better understanding of how the types of mining tools changed over time. In the early years of the gold rush, miners traveled with very few items; some which included a gold pan, pick and shovel. As more gold was discovered, mining parties established mining camps or tent towns. The cradle or rocker box was used as towns developed. Further development of mining camps brought in the use of long toms, sluice boxes and water diversions created for mining.

columbiastatehistoricpark
7
 

Breaking Barriers: Reconstruction

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including photographs, primary source documents, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore the efforts of individuals and groups to overcome racial, economic, and political barriers during the era immediately following the Civil War known as Reconstruction. Resources highlight influential individuals and groups, the intentional and unintentional consequences of actions and policies that resulted in the construction of new barriers for some, and competing perspectives over the best path toward reuniting the United States after the Civil War. The second resource in this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: civil rights, slavery, Freedman’s Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Freedmen Refugees and Abandoned Lands, Fisk Jubilee Singers, African American, Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Sojourner Truth, South Carolina, Congress, House of Representatives, Frederick Douglass, Robert Smalls, Hiram R. Revels, Benjamin S. Turner , Robert C. De Large, Josiah T. Walls, Jefferson F. Long, Joseph H. Rainey, R. Brown Elliot, Thomas Mundy Peterson, Sidney Taliaferro, John Roy Lynch, Octavius Catto, Edmonia Lewis, Laura Smith Haviland, John W. Menard, Harper’s Weekly, Oliver Otis Howard, William T. Sherman, Howard University, W.E.B. Du Bois, nineteenth century, 19th, Washington, D.C., #NHD

EDSITEment
78
 

Breaking Barriers: Women's Suffrage

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how women during the 19th and 20th centuries organized, petitioned, marched, and spoke out for the removal of barriers to full voting rights for women. While the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, the extent to which this law led to equity for all women remains a point of debate. Resources address how groups and individuals sought to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of women, highlight the often overlooked perspectives and actions of women of color during the suffrage movement, and offer insight into the legacy of the suffrage movement on the larger fights for women’s and civil rights. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: voting, protest, African American, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells, Belva Ann Lockwood, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Anna Julia Cooper, Jeannette Pickering Rankin, Victoria Woodhull, Wyoming, Suffragette, Suffragist, Fannie Lou Hamer, Felisa Rincón de Gautier, Zitkala-Ša, Susette LaFlesche Tibbles, Alice Paul, ERA, civil rights, women’s rights, Edith Mayo, protest, boycott, twentieth century, 20th, #NHD

EDSITEment
79
 

Breaking Barriers: United Farm Workers

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how the United Farm Workers, and leaders Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong, organized for worker and civil rights during the 1960s and 70s. Resources address how groups and individuals sought to bring attention to the mistreatment of farmers—particularly Chicano and Filipino workers—the barriers they sought to break, and the reforms they fought to establish through artistic expression, as well as organized boycotts and strikes. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: UFW, Latino, Hispanic, California, Fred Ross, art, grapes, lettuce, farmers, immigration, citizenship, labor, laborers, workers, unions, protest, twentieth century, 20th, #NHD

EDSITEment
66
 

Breaking Barriers: Innovation and Industry

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including, objects, photographs, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how technologies developed in the interest of advancing industrialization during the United States’ Second Industrial Revolution made it possible to overcome economic and social barriers, while, in some cases, unintentionally creating new ones. Innovators who developed technologies and tools to make every day living easier and more enjoyable, along with transportation technologies that broke barriers in terms of travel and movement, are also included in this collection. Users are also asked to consider the legacies of these inventions and their significance to innovation and industrialization through to today. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: factory, industry, invention, innovator, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel F. B. Morse, telegraph, Christopher Latham Sholes, typewriter, telephone, communication, technology, workers, labor, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, David Dubinsky, Asa Philip Randolph, John Llewellyn Lewis, Frances Perkins, Samuel Gompers, strike, boycott, union, Transcontinental, railroad, nineteenth century, 19th, twentieth, 20th, #NHD

EDSITEment
98
 

Breaking Barriers: Race, Gender, and the U.S. Military

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how individuals overcame barriers during and following their service in the U.S. military. Resources address how issues of race and gender operated as barriers to equal treatment for all those who serve in the U.S. military, as well as circumstances endured by veterans following the end of major wars. The experiences of members of the armed forces during the American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, WWI, and WWII are highlighted; however, other wars and perspectives should be considered when exploring these resources. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: military, soldiers, women, African American, Tuskegee, Airmen, Airwomen, war, World War One, World War I, World War Two, World War II, Red Jacket, Tayadaneega, Joseph Brant, Native Americans, American Indians, Horace Pippin, Theodore Milton Sullivan, J.W. Lucus, Buffalo Soldier, Charles Young, Carter Woodson, Willa Beatrice Brown, Bessie Coleman, Airforce, pilots, Jacqueline Cochran, Janet Harmon Bragg, Cornelia Fort, Nancy Love, WASPs, twentieth century, 20th #NHD

EDSITEment
94
 

Emma Tenayuca: La Pasionaria

Emma Tenayuca was just sixteen years old in 1932 when she joined a strike of women cigar makers. By 1937, when she was twenty-one Emma held a leadership role with the Workers Alliance of America, a group that sought to unite organizations of unemployed and industrial workers.

In January 1938, when pecan shellers in San Antonio walked out of their jobs, they looked to Emma for leadership. Their ranks swelled to between six and eight thousand strikers. Emma was arrested and released along with hundreds of others. Although she took a background role for the duration of the strike, she continued to write flyers and provide support behind the scenes.

Then a dispute over leadership arose between the Workers Alliance and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).  Emma’s communist affiliations were used to discredit her.

Emma was supposed to meet with Communist Party members in the municipal auditorium in 1939 when a riot broke out. A crowd stormed the building, smashing windows and attacking participants. Emma managed to escape, but she never again led a major labor protest. Employers blacklisted her. As a result, Emma was unable to find work in San Antonio.

She moved to California in 1946, where she earned a college degree and stayed for many years. Returning to San Antonio in the late 1960's, she was amazed to find herself hailed as "some sort of heroine." She earned a master's degree in education at Our Lady of the Lake University and taught in San Antonio public schools until retiring in 1982. She died of Alzheimer's disease in 1999. People still remember her as La Pasionaria for her fierce defense of the working poor.

#ethnicstudies #NHD2020 #BecauseOfHerStory 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Melanie Schwebke
30
 

Japanese Rice Farmers in Texas

This collection includes resources about focusing on the story the Japanese rice farmers who immigrated to Texas in the early 1900's. Included are photos of the Japanese farmers in the rice fields and photos of families who owned the largest rice farms.

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions , such as those about immigration policy and/or discrimination. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. Documents are included to guide students through analysis activities of the documents, photos and oral history.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. 

Keywords: Japanese immigration,rice farming, sharecropping

 #EthnicStudies

Melanie Schwebke
24
 

Chinese immigration experience to Texas featuring Jim Eng's story

This collection includes resources about focusing on the story of Jim Eng (Ng San Wah) who immigrated to Texas when he was seven years old. Included are the various documents that he and his mom needed to immigrate and excerpts from his oral history are included.

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions , such as those about immigration policy and/or discrimination. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. Documents are included to guide students through analysis activities of the documents, photos and oral history.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. 

Keywords: chinese exclusion act, 1882,

 #EthnicStudies

Melanie Schwebke
29
 

Dolores del Rio

Dolores del Rio was a Mexican born film actress who stared in many Hollywood films beginning in the 1920's. She was one of the first Latin American movies stars in Hollywood and was renowned for her skill and beauty. She began her career in the silent films of the 1920's and 1930's and successfully adapted to the talking films of later decades. This collection asks the student to consider the significance of her role as an early icon of biculturalism and complete an exercise in perspective taking. 

Information adapted from The New York Times obituary on Dolores del Rio, April 13, 1983. Retreived from https://www.nytimes.com/1983/04/13/obituaries/dolores-del-rio-77-is-dead-film-star-in-us-and-mexico.html

#ethnicstudies 

Meredith Woolard
10
 

From Medieval to Modernism: The Impact of Classical Art & Architecture

This collection is intended to further educate viewers on the architecture and art in the Classical period using multiple resources as well as the Robert & DiYanni text, Arts and Culture, An Introduction to the Humanities (2012).

Throughout this collection readers will get a glimpse of the start of Classical architecture and how it came to be, how art lined the walls of these buildings and how art through architecture was developed. With that, readers will be able to engage and visualize today's architectural structures and how that culture influences today compared to those between the Medieval times to Modernism. They will also have the ability to recognize the true and inner beauty that lies in this architecture, amidst the chaos that regularly occurred there on a day to day basis. The truth will always remain beautiful even when it doesn't seem that way.

This collection is available for those wanting to see the beginnings of the classical art and it's influences from the medieval times up until modernism and will provide a better visual understanding that before the beauty of what architecture is today, there was once beauty at the start of it all and that remains throughout the years, just presented in different forms. 


#AHMCFall2019

Candi Tate
15
 

National History Day: World War I

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

These resources - including photographs, letters, artwork, lesson plans, and articles - explore the costs and consequences of America’s involvement in World War I and its complex legacies in the decades following. Resources highlight Woodrow Wilson and his foreign policy, the roles of African American soldiers during and after the war, artwork by soldiers and government-sponsored artists depicting the psychological effects of the battlefield, letters written by soldiers to those back home, the physical costs of war and the triumphs of medical innovation, and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, which resulted in the deaths of 1,198 civilians. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!

Tags: the great war, wwi, ww1, world war one, world war 1, military, perspective, 20th century, 1900s, american expeditionary forces, aef, woodrow wilson, buffalo soldiers, 92nd infantry division, 93rd infantry division, african-american, black, harlem hellfighters, art, horace pippin, claggett wilson, harvey thomas dunn, william james aylward, anna coleman ladd, prosthetic, rms lusitania, postcard, form letter, #NHD

Exeter Student
84
 

Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic

This collection, created to accompany the SITES exhibition Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic, contains complementary resources to support the exhibition's themes. The collection includes music, photography, objects, and other sources to facilitate an examination of who Billie Holiday was, her legacy,  the use of available light within photography, the dynamic context of jazz in the 1950s, and how artists like Billie Holiday used their art to influence social change. 

About the exhibition:  In April 1957, photographer Jerry Dantzic had an assignment from Decca Records to photograph Billie Holiday during a weeklong run of performances at the Newark, New Jersey, nightclub, Sugar Hill. What unfolded was an unexpected and intimate journey into her private and public worlds. His photos comprise the largest collection of images from any single Billie Holiday club engagement. "Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic” presents 56 remarkable images of the jazz icon that challenge the tragic narrative that frequently defines her. The exhibition is on view at Irving Arts Center in the Main Gallery from September 14 through November 17, 2019.  

#IrvingArts

#BillieHoliday

#EthnicStudies


Marcie Inman
34
 

What's a Lichen? How a Smithsonian Scientist Studies a Unique Symbiosis

This collection supports the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, "What's a Lichen? How a Smithsonian Scientist Studies a Unique Symbiosis,"  scheduled to air on November 14, 2019. Manu is a scientist at the Smithsonian who studies lichens, a lichenologist. She collects lichens from all over the world, depositing them into the U.S. National Herbarium, which is located at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Manu identifies the lichens she collects with observations of how the lichen looks, their DNA data and where they were found.

Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus. They have been on earth for millions of years, living on rocks, trees, and soil in all different habitats on all seven continents. Even though lichens are all around us, scientists are still learning about what they are, where they live, and how many different species of lichens there are.

Fungus is any group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, and include molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools. Algae is a simple, non-flowering plant. Algae contain chlorophyll and produce sugar through photosynthesis, like other plants, but do not have true stems, roots, leaves, or vascular tissue like most other plants. Lichenization is a fungal lifestyle, and therefore the name of lichen is the name of the fungus component.

When you look at a lichen, what you’re looking at is the “house” that the fungus and algae grow together. Scientists call this house a “thallus.” When algae and fungus come together to form this house, we see a lichen. This partnership is called a symbiotic relationship, because it helps both the fungus and algae survive. Research has shown that lichens are not a natural biological group, meaning they do not all come from a single common ancestor, in other words, lichens have many origins. Currently there are almost 20,000 species of lichenized fungi known.

In this symbiotic relationship, the fungus and algae benefit from being associated with each other. The fungus provides the house, its shelter (the thallus). This shelter helps the algae survive in habitats where it would otherwise be exposed to the elements and possibly could not survive. The algae provide food for the fungus, in the form of sugar. The sugar is a byproduct of photosynthesis that occurs within the algae.

Lichens are very important for the environment. They are an important food source for many animals, provide nest materials for birds, and provide habitat and material for biomimicry for insects and other organisms.

Lichens are also important for humans by providing natural dyes, perfumes, litmus paper, and even food. Humans even use lichens as bio-indicators, organisms that help humans monitor the health of the environment. Some species of lichens are sensitive to environmental pollution, so their presence or absence can help us understand more about the health of the environment, like air quality. 

Lichens produce over one thousand different chemical compounds, most of them unique to lichens. These compounds include acids and pigments. Some chemicals may even fluoresce under UV light, making them important components for lichen identification.

Lichens have DNA, which is used to identify lichen and compare relationships amongst and within species. DNA analysis has been an important tool for lichenologists in identifying and understanding the biodiversity of lichens.


Sign up for the Smithsonian Science How webcast to introduce your students to Lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno! The program airs at 11am and 2pm on November 14, 2019. Sign up and view the program here: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/...

Maggy Benson
29
 

Immigration Policies and Legislation Affecting Asian Pacific Americans

This topical collection includes resources about immigration policies and legislation that affected, or specifically targeted, immigrants and those with ancestry from Asia and the Pacific Islands.  The policies and legislation profiled in this collection are not the only ones that did so by any means, however, they are some of the most significant.  Collection includes newspapers, objects, portraits, articles, and more.

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions, such as those about immigration policy and/or discrimination. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. 

Keywords: chinese exclusion act, 1882, wong chin foo, immigration act of 1917, literacy act, asiatic barred zone act, angel island, japanese incarceration, japanese internment, executive order 9088, 1942, world war ii, world war 2, immigration and nationality act of 1965, hart-celler act, immigration act of 1990, h-1b visa

#APA2018 #EthnicStudies


Tess Porter
53
1-24 of 361 Collections