As we mentioned some time ago, NDP and Paleobiology scientific illustrator Mary Parrish are spearheading an effort through the Smithsonian Institution's Libraries to build an exhibit featurin pen-and-ink illustrations of fossil whales from the early 20th century, which were rediscovered and recently rehabilitated.
The exhibit planning stages are in full swing, and part of the work that goes into it is selecting SIL's contributions for the exhibit. Yesterday, the participants on the exhibit took an in-house field trip to NMNH's Cullman Library -- the U.S. national natural history rare books collection. Like other such collections, these holdings are stored under careful climate controls and usage is carefully monitoring and measured. Much of what we do, as naturalists, directly ties into a long lineage of work that can be traced back through the centuries. It's inspiring to carefully page through >500 year old books whose authors and contributors asked similar questions that we still do today about the natural world.
Dave Bohaska, Charley Potter, Daryl Domning and Martha Rosen (SIL) stand rapt in awe, while paging through possible exhibit pieces in the Cullman Library at NMNH. Careful observers will note some familiar books. (Photo NDP)