Field Book Project: This drawing was created during the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-42, by Joseph Drayton, an illustrator for the expedition. The fieldnotes accompanying the image indicate that it was based on a recently-dead specimen caught in the Columbia River at Vancouver. Since the appearance of many species can change drastically after death, colored illustrations produced in the field are important archival materials. #ArchivesMonth
Biodiversity Heritage Library: The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, v. 1 (1754). 100 years go on Sept. 1, 1914, Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, died at the Cincinnati Zoological Park. She is now on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and the demise of the passenger pigeon helped spark concerted conservation efforts in the US. This illustration by Mark Catesby is the first published depiction of the species. #ArchivesMonth
Biodiversity Heritage Library: Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (1705). Maria Sibylla Merian studied insect life, and butterfly metamorphosis, extensively. Her work helped overturn the prevailing theory that insects were generated from rotting mud, thus positioning her as one of the most important contributors to the field of entomology. This is especially impressive given that she was a woman in a field dominated by men. #ArchivesMonth
A 1953 House & Garden article entreated young brides-to-be to begin planning an important aspect of their new future home: a garden. The magazine enlisted landscape architect Perry Wheeler to design a garden for newlyweds that could be developed over a five-year period; or, in Wheeler’s words, “on the installment plan.” #ArchivesMonth Design for "Bride's First Garden," c.1953. Office of Perry Wheeler, landscape architect. Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Institution.