Although my Information Connections Research at the Smithsonian formally concluded at the beginning of August, that is when the real excitement began as I took Connecting Content on the road and presented the project and my particular work on it to a variety of different audiences.

smithsonian_logo1 First up was the hometown show, a brown bag lunch at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. This was no warm up though, as the event had been announced Museum-wide, and the attendance was high enough to warrant the use of two conference rooms in the Natural History Library. As this audience was a strongly scientific one, I focused my discussion on how the archival processes central to Connecting Content seek to make primary source biodiversity materials more broadly accessible and richly connected to supporting information. I fielded several excellent questions from the extremely intelligent audience that really helped me clarify and further conceptualize the project. It was a great finale to a great summer working with Field Book Project Manager Carolyn Sheffield and Botany Department Collections Manager Rusty Russell.

logo_naturalhistory_sm Next on my itinerary was another familiar setting, the American Museum of Natural History Research Library in New York, where I was an intern on their Archive Project for the first half of 2011. Their Archive Project consists of a Cataloging Hidden Collections component and a Preservation Risk Assessment Survey component that work together to enhance archival control and accessibility to their wonderful collections. Here the audience consisted of Research Library staff and current interns, and I placed Connecting Content in the framework of their on-going Archive Project and we had a really active back-and-forth discussion about implementing plans in natural history archives and the various successes and challenges that all of our projects face.

chgobutton_9_24_10 My final destination, at least thus far, in discussing the research I conducted in Washington this summer on behalf of the California Academy of Sciences, was the Society of American Archivists National Conference, dubbed Archives 360 this year, in Chicago. I represented Connecting Content at the SAA Research Forum, a day long event in which practitioners report on archival research projects that are currently in process. Though I was a touch froggy by this point, a microphone on the podium saved the day, and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to deliver a 30-minute platform presentation. It was very interesting to shift to a general archives audience as opposed to a sceintific audience or natural history archives audience, and I made sure to thoroughly and clearly explain the technical and scientific facets of the project. I was also able to meet California Academy of Sciences Library Archivist Danielle Castronovo, and we had a very nice time discussing the different possibilities for this exciting project moving forward, while enjoying some SAA-provided ice cream bars. An appropriate end for an appropriately weary throat after a mid-late August tour of speaking engagements. I very much enjoyed having the opportunity to represent Connecting Content and report on my Information Connections Research.

- Richard T. Fischer, Information Connections Research Intern

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