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Gatewood Dunston Research Notes

National Museum of American History
Research notebooks of motion picture history scholar Gatewood Dunston, including letters, documents, photographs related to equipment and personalities associated with the history of the moving image.

Gatewood W. Dunston (1908-October 18, 1956) was a motion picture projectionist and later, a collector and scholar of the history of motion picture technology who bequeathed his important collection to the National Museum of American History.

Dunston worked the projection booth at the Granby and Lowe’s Theaters in Norfolk, Virginia, where he lived until his death. He was a friend of the early Western star William S. Hart, and obtained a number of Hart films, posters and even a pistol used by the actor in his films. It appears that Dunston began seriously researching and collecting movie cameras, projectors and memorabilia in the early 1940s, through correspondence with film historians Merritt Crawford and Terry Ramsaye, early projectionist Francis Doublier and a number of movie personalities and machine manufacturers. He was disheartened by the deaths of many motion picture pioneers in the 1930s and 40s, and by his perception that the history of motion picture technology was fading into obscurity. Dunston collected 35mm and 16mm copies of notable silent films, old projectors and cameras, glass theater slides, a small number of mutoscope items and editing equipment as well as stereo views and optical toys. As his health deteriorated in the early 1950s, he was forced to sell off many of his films, which were on nitrate and posed a fire hazard, and he wrote a will that stipulated his collection be left to the Smithsonian National Museum’s Section of Photography, now NMAH’s Photographic History Collection.

The Dunston accession, number 212314, included 864 items, comprised primarily of 294 theater slides, 162 stereo views, 150 lantern slides, 157 films, 59 early projectors, 6 editing machines, 6 posters, over 100 photographs and a mutoscope reel. Additionally, Dunston left his correspondence relating to the collection, which offers a look at this formative period in the historiography of motion pictures. The films, many of which were on nitrate, were transferred to the Library of Congress in the 1960s, but the remainder of the material was cataloged and is found at numbers 4994-5099 in the Photographic History Collection. The Dunston collection at the National Museum of American History remains one of the most complete and important showing the evolution and history of the motion picture projector, as well as the motion picture industry and art.

This finding aid is one in a series documenting the PHC’s Early Cinema Collection [COLL.PHOTOS.000018]. The cinema-related objects cover the range of technological innovation and popular appeal that defined the motion picture industry during a period in which it became the premier form of mass communication in American life, roughly 1885-1930. See also finding aids for Early Sound Cinema [COLL.PHOTOS.000040], Early Color Cinema [COLL.PHOTOS.000039], Early Cinema Film and Ephemera [COLL.PHOTOS.000038] and Early Cinema Equipment [COLL.PHOTOS.000037].

Archaeological Research in China (Appendices) 1923-1934

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Carl Whiting Bishop was an Associate Curator and Associate in Archaeology at the Freer Gallery of Art from 1922 to 1942.

This unpublished manuscript constituted a field report that chronicled Bishop's Gallery-sponsored expeditions in northern and central China during the period 1923 to 1934. The reader is provided with a record of the day-to-day operations completed, of obstacles and opposition encountered, and the results obtained from their work. Key diplomatic and scientific representatives from the West and China are recorded who aided and contributed to the investigations. Moreover, there are descriptions of the academic, social and political climate in China during a period of civil war and economic strife. Against this background, Bishop also discussed their efforts in view of the history of China, with commentary on the country's geography, topography, climate, flora and fauna, mineral products, and ancient customs and legends.The manuscript consists of an introduction, 19 numbered chapters, 3 appendices and a series of plates and figures related to his text.

Samples from Pioneering Research Laboratory

Archives of American Art
Textile : ; 29 cm x 20.5 cm

Opportunities for Research 2016-2017

Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries, situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. The Libraries offers exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. We are happy to offer the following fellowship opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year.   more »

The post Opportunities for Research 2016-2017 appeared first on Smithsonian Libraries Unbound.

United States Fish Commission Research Station

Smithsonian Institution Archives
United States Fish Commission research station and hatchery.

United States Fish Commission Research Station

Smithsonian Institution Archives
United States Fish Commission research station and hatchery at Wytheville, Virginia.

United States Fish Commission Research Station

Smithsonian Institution Archives
United States Fish Commission research station and hatchery at Wytheville, Virginia.

United States Fish Commission Research Station

Smithsonian Institution Archives
United States Fish Commission research station and hatchery at Wytheville, Virginia.

Research collection of pollen grains given to Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Smithsonian Insider

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama was recently given a collection of more than 25,000 different pollen grains and spores, each mounted on a microscope slide and labeled according to the plant that produced it. “The collection is worldwide in coverage with an emphasis on plants of the Americas,” explains collection donor Alan Graham, professor emeritus at Kent State University and curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The post Research collection of pollen grains given to Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2015

Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record more »

Research Methods and Surprising Findings

National Museum of Natural History
Martin Storksdieck is Director of the Board on Science Eduaction at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council where he oversees studies that address a wide range of issues related to science education. He is also a research fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation, involved in a variety of research studies on informal science learning. Martin is interested in factors that influence scientific and technical literacy, particularly the role of lifelong learning within the ecology of learning opportunities. Another focus of Martin's interest is the intersection of science, society and learning, primarily as those relate to the understanding of evolution and environmental change.

Research serendipity in South Texas

National Museum of American History

Who Pays for Dino Research?

Smithsonian Magazine

Richard Wiener "Research Funding Opportunities

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Richard Wiener "Research Funding Opportunities and Effective Grant Writing for Early-Career Science Faculty", during the ITAMP/B2 Institute Winter Graduate School on AMO Physics held at the B2 Campus in Arizona, Jan16, 2012

Research Vessel "Mollie" at Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Smithsonian Institution Archives
United States Fish Commission research vessel, the sailing yacht "Mollie," used by Spencer Fullerton Baird, second secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, for collection of specimens.

Spectroscopy Interview with Research Scientist

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute

Insignia, Avco Everett Research Laboratory

National Air and Space Museum
Avco Everett Research Laboratory embroidered cotton twill insignia; rocket and clouds depicted on a light blue disc; red embroidered text "AIRBORNE MONITORING TEAM"; blue embroidered text "AVCO EVERETT RESEARCH LABORATORY".

Now We're Crowdfunding Ebola Research?

Smithsonian Magazine

Erica Ollmann Saphire runs a lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, that is part of an international consortium to beat Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. Saphire, her staff and her students are trying to figure out how Ebola works, and their discoveries have, along with the work of the rest of the consortium, lead directly to the development of the experimental ZMapp Ebola serum.

Given that Ebola is currently ravaging West Africa in a way never before seen and is currently dominating the news cycle in the U.S., one would think Saphire would have no problem getting the money she needs to do her work. But that's not the world we live in. So, with an eye towards ramping up the pace of her research, Saphire is currently running a crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign aims to raise $100,000 to buy more lab equipment and pay more staff, says the Los Angeles Times. That money would supplement the funding Saphire already gets from the government. Since some guy raised $55,000 on Kickstarter to make potato salad, it'd be nice to think her odds of hitting her goal are pretty good.

As Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said recently, basic research has been undervalued in the U.S. for too long, and now the cracks are starting to show. According to Collins, the NIH "has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001," reports the Huffington Post:

“It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told the Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

The NIH's budget has been basically frozen for the past 10 years, says HuffPo—which means the agency's purchasing power has actually dropped 23 percent. To redirect more money toward Ebola research, NIH leaders had to pull it out of other things. But with a frozen budget, there's only so much wiggle room.

“We all want a cure for Ebola,” said Saphire in a presentation attended by the Los Angeles Times. “But the free market is not going to support it because it begins by infecting people who are very poor."

As of Sunday night Saphire's crowdfunding campaign had only pulled in around $500. Over the past couple days, however, that total has climbed up to $18,000.

Research Charts on Social Welfare

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Research Charts on Social Welfare, 1947-48. Photographic image of a desk with several papers, pamphlets, a calculator used during the period and books. There are several pamphlets regarding different issues of social welfare. Photograph by Constance Stuart Larrabee, 1948.

This series of photographs documents the social welfare system, which had been established for poor white South Africans in the Johannesburg area after the end of the Second World War.

There are no prints of this negative in the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection. EEPA produced an 8x10 study print for reference purposes.

The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.

Research Charts on Social Welfare

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Research Charts on Social Welfare, 1947-48. Photographic image of a desk with several papers, pamphlets, a calculator used during the period and books. There are several pamphlets regarding different issues of social welfare. Photograph by Constance Stuart Larrabee, 1948.

This series of photographs documents the social welfare system, which had been established for poor white South Africans in the Johannesburg area after the end of the Second World War.

There is one 8x10 black and white vintage print of this negative in the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection. EEPA also produced an 8x10 study print for reference purposes.

The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.
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