A garden is a place to rest, relax, rejuvenate. It also provides an opportunity to learn about nature. Staff at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives are also learning and developing new skills. Some of these new skills are related to digitization and accessibility of biodiversity literature.
During these months of telework, I am assisting the Digital Library and Digitization Department to enhance page-level and image-level access to previously digitized books for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). This involves improving page-level metadata for items in BHL, uploading full-page illustrations to the BHL Flickr, and tagging the images in Flickr with species’ common and scientific names. These digitized books include a variety of content: plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, and so much more. In the course of this work, I have the opportunity to view lovely illustrations. Recently a horticultural catalog caught my attention. The item is titled Vick’s Flower and Vegetable Garden (1878) by James Vick.