Happy Women’s History Month! Join Us For #HerNaturalHistory Starting 8 March 2019

Her Natural History

Illustrations in this graphic created by female artists who will be featured during #HerNaturalHistory. L to R: Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (1705); Marian Ellis Rowan, Southern Wild Flowers and Trees (1901); Winifred Austen, The Wild Beasts of the World, v. 2 (1909); Virginia Smith Jones, Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, v. 1 (1886). Illustrations digitized by Smithsonian Libraries, University of Toronto, and North Carolina State University Libraries.

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating with an international social media campaign produced in collaboration with our partners highlighting women and their contributions to natural history — Her Natural History: A Celebration of Women in Natural History.

Kicking-off with an all-day social media blitz on Friday, 8 March 2019 (International Women’s Day) and continuing throughout the month, Her Natural History aims to increase awareness of and information about women in the biodiversity sciences.

Women have made remarkable contributions to biodiversity research. From collecting specimens and serving as scientific illustrators to conducting and publishing research, authoring natural history books, and more, women have overcome many social and cultural obstacles and gender barriers to help further our understanding of the natural world.

As part of the campaign, we’ll be highlighting women in the BHL collection with our Women in Natural History Book and Female Illustrators Flickr Collections, featuring publications, archival materials, and illustrations by female naturalists and artists. We’ll be sharing these collections and the stories of the women who created them through our blog and on social media using the hashtag #HerNaturalHistory. You can color a selection of illustrations by female artists from BHL’s collection with our free coloring book. #HerNaturalHistory is also the #LibrariesOfInstagram challenge topic for March.

Additionally, there will be citizen science opportunities (including a Wikipedia Editing Workshop and transcription challenge) and a series of Facebook Live events from BHL partners throughout the month. See the sections below for more information about these activities.

We hope you’ll join us for the social media blitz on Friday (8 March) and throughout the month by following #HerNaturalHistory on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and using the hashtag to share stories, collections, publications, artworks, archival materials, exhibits, and other resources highlighting women and their contributions to natural history.

Learn more about the campaign on the Her Natural History webpage.

Her Natural History: A Celebration of Women in Natural History

When? 8-31 March, 2019
Where? Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
What? Join us in celebrating women in natural history this Women’s History Month! Follow along and join the campaign using #HerNaturalHistory.
More Information: s.si.edu/hernaturalhistory

Her Natural History Facebook Live Events

Facebook Live: Maria Martin.
Presented by Field Museum.
Join Chief Curiosity Correspondent Emily Graslie in the Rare Books Room at the Field Museum with Field Librarians Gretchen Rings and Diana Duncan to explore the work of Maria Martin, one of the background painters for Audubon’s Bird’s of America.
When? Friday, 8 March 2019 at 11:00am ET
Where? https://www.facebook.com/fieldmuseum

A Curious Herbal Facebook Live.
Presented by Oak Spring Garden Foundation.
Go behind-the-scenes at Oak Spring Garden Library to explore Elizabeth Blackwell’s groundbreaking illustrated work on medical plants, A Curious Herbal. The Library has several printed editions of the work as well as 73 of the original manuscript paintings Blackwell did for the book.
When? Friday, 8 March 2019 at 2:00pm ET
Where? https://www.facebook.com/OakSpringGardenFoundation

NYBG #HerNaturalHistory Live.
Presented by The New York Botanical Garden.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at some original botanical art, herbarium specimens, published works, manuscripts, and photographs by women in the natural sciences when The New York Botanical Garden goes behind-the-scenes in their Library & Herbarium.
When? Tuesday, 12 March 2019 at 12:30pm ET
Where? https://www.facebook.com/NYBotanicalGarden/

The Art & Life of Elizabeth Gould.
Presented by Smithsonian Libraries.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Natural History Rare Book Library at the Smithsonian Libraries as staff explore a selection of works by natural history illustrator Elizabeth Gould.
When? Friday, 22 March 2019 at 1:00pm ET
Where? https://www.facebook.com/SmithsonianLibraries

Her Natural History Citizen Science Opportunities

Women in Natural History Wikipedia Editing Workshop
Join us for the Women in Natural History Wikipedia Editing Workshop hosted by the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Smithsonian Libraries with support from Wikimedia DC. With the help of experienced Wikipedians, attendees will learn to edit Wikipedia and improve or create Wikipedia articles related to women in natural history, drawing on the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s free and extensive online collections as source materials. No editing experience is necessary.

When? 13 March 2019, 10am – 2pm ET
Where? In-person at Smithsonian Libraries (Washington, D.C.) and remotely via s.si.edu/NHWomenWikiLive
More Information: Wikipedia event page

Registration is Required:

Attending in person? Laptops are required. Please bring your own. Wikimedia has two laptops to loan. Reserve one by emailing info@wikimediadc.org. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so register today. Lunch will be provided.

Attending remotely? There will be an option to participate in the editing workshop remotely. For remote participants, the workshop will be live-streamed via YouTube Live here: https://s.si.edu/NHWomenWikiLive. Be sure to register to attend remotely

Transcription Challenge
Looking for a challenge? The Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Smithsonian Transcription Center are teaming up for a #HerNaturalHistory-themed transcription challenge. Beginning on 8 March, help a team of #volunpeers transcribe field notes from conservation biologist Devra Kleiman and botanist Cleofé Calderón. Dive into observations of golden lion tamarins with Kleiman, who worked at Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park from 1972 to 2001. And head to South America with Calderón to collect grasses for Smithsonian’s Department of Botany.

Avatar for Grace Costantino
Written by

Grace Costantino served as the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library from 2014 to 2021. In this capacity, she developed and managed BHL's communication strategy, oversaw social media initiatives, and engaged with the public to excite audiences about the wealth of biodiversity heritage available in BHL. Prior to her role as Outreach and Communication Manager, Grace served as the Digital Collections Librarian for Smithsonian Libraries and as the Program Manager for BHL.