Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

"Measuring, Analysing and Reporting," in Twitter for Museums: Strategies and Tactics for Success. MuseumsEtc (Edinburgh): 2010.

Defining success and determining best practices for social media measurement in museums.

"Case Study: National Museum of American History," in Twitter for Museums: Strategies and Tactics for Success. MuseumsEtc (Edinburgh): 2010.

Defining success and determining best practices for social media measurement in museums.

"Small Towns and Big Cities: How Museums Foster Community On-line," in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.

Borrowing terminology from German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies, this paper uses the archetypal qualities inherent in traditional village life (Gemeinschaft) vs. life in big cities (Gesellschaft) as a framework for understanding museum approaches to on-line community.

"Social Media and Organizational Change." In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.

Social media are altering how museums interact with the public. But how are they affecting the ways that museum professionals approach their jobs? How are large organizations dealing with new pressures for a more nimble, experimental approach to content creation, and a more personal level of engagement with staff? How do museums manage the 'brand' with so many people creating content, while also being flexible and bringing out the many voices in an institution? With the authors' multiple perspectives, this paper highlights some of the ways that social media are changing the ways that staff communicate and work together, and addresses issues such as whether to distribute management of social media content across an organization or to centralize efforts; how to find tactics for educating and training staff about what social media are; and how social media can further the mission, set new expectations for current staffing positions held within the museum, and promote a cultural shift that embraces collaborative, agile ways of interacting with our peers and our audiences.

"Preserving Software in History Museums: A Material Culture Approach," in Ulf Hashagen, et.al., eds., History of Computing: Software Issues (Berlin: Springer, 2002).

Reviews issues related to preserving and exhibiting software in museums.

"The ENIAC," in Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 63 (December 1999).

Provides a capsule history of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC).

"The Origin of the Naval Research Laboratory," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 105 (July, 1979).

Reviews the development of the Naval Research Laboratory.

"U.S. Navy Research and Development since World War II," in Military Enterprise and Technological Change (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985).

Reviews the process of naval research and development in the post World War II era.

“Archives of Data Processing: The National Museum of American History” in Archives of Data Processing History (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990).

Summarizes holdings of National Museum of American History in computer history.

“How People use Electronic Interactives in Information Age: People, Information & Technology” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums (1991).

Reviews experience of visitors using electronic interactives in museums.

“John A. Dahlgren: Innovator in Uniform,” in Captains of the Old Steam Navy (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1986).

Provides a biographical review of John A. Dahlgren and his role as a naval innovator and developer of naval ordnance.

“Universal Product Code in Perspective: Context for a Revolution,” in Alan L. Haberman, ed. Twenty-Five Years behind Bars. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Summarizes the history of the Universal Product Code.

<em>New Eye for the Navy: The Origin of Radar at the Naval Research Laboratory</em> (Washington: GPO, 1981).

Provides an in-depth history of the development of radar at the Naval Research Laboratory in the 1920s and 1930s.

<em>The Price of Freedom: Americans at War</em> Seattle: Marquand Books, 2004.

Catalog for the exhibition of the same name.

title bibliography
title "Collecting Medical Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History" bibliography "Collecting Medical Technology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History" in Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future, Samuel J.M.M. Alberti, Elizabeth Hallam eds. London: The Royal College of Surgeons, 200--213

A historical look at how medical museums in Euroipe and the United States have collected, exhibited and interpreted this fasinating collecting genre. 

title Benjamin Dudley's Surgical Set bibliography "Benjamin Dudley's Surgical Set" in Tranysylvania Treasures: A Closer Look at the University's Treasures, Vol. II, No. 3, Lexington, Kentucky: Transylvania University. 6-7.

An examination of a surgical set which belonged to Benjamin Dudley a surgeon and professor at Tranysyvania College 1814-1850?   

"Nina Katchadourian's Genealogy of the Supermarket," Gastronomica: The Journal of Food & Culture 8, no. 4 (November 08): 7-9.
"Beans Are Bullets and Of Course I Can! War-Era Food Posters from the Collection of the National Agricultural Library"

An exhibit, website, and presentation created for the National Agriculture Library. The exhibit examines the poster styles, propaganda messages, and advertising history through the topic of food in wartime. 

“Food Culture, Supermarkets, and Packaging”
"Review Essay: A Winery Pastoral," Gastronomica: The Journal of Food & Culture 9, No. 3 (Summer 2009), 79-81.
<em>Holidays on Display.</em> New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

The warm glow exuding from animated store windows never ceases to arouse a feeling of nostalgic comfort in many Americans during the frigid months of the holiday season. In “Holidays on Display,” Bird examines what makes these windows, along with lighting displays and parade floats, have such a strong appeal to consumers. He does this through a photographic and textual history of all aspects of the display world. The book tracks the evolution of the outdoor lighting, animated windows, and parade floats that fill the streets of America with “holiday spirit.” Bird’s seamless use of text and more than 100 never-before-seen images produces a vivid and telling history of emotionally stirring display.

<em>“Better Living”: Advertising, Media, and the New Vocabulary of Business Leadership, 1935-1955.</em> Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999.

A history of how big business learned to be both entertaining and persuasive when talking to the public. Examining the years from the Depression to postwar prosperity, "Better Living" follows the dissemination of a politically competitive claim of "more," "new" and "better" in industry and life. Beginning with the changes in business-government relations during the New Deal, this study looks at the ways in which politically active corporations and their leaders learned how to speak--when speaking was not enough.

<em>Paint by Number: The How-to Craze that Swept the Nation.</em> New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001.

A history of the popular hobby from the vantage point of the entrepreneurs who created the kits, the consumers who filled them in and hung them in their homes, the artists who made them, and the critics who reviled them.

America's Doll House: The Miniature World of Faith Bradford. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution is a dollhouse. Sitting on the National Museum of American History's third floor is a five-story home donated to the museum by Faith Bradford, a Washington, D.C., librarian, who spent more than a half-century accumulating and constructing the 1,354 miniatures that fill its 23 intricately detailed rooms. When Bradford donated them to the museum in 1951, she wrote a lengthy manuscript describing the lives of its residents: Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll and their ten children, two visiting grandparents, twenty pets, and household staff. Bradford cataloged the Dolls' tastes, habits, and preferences in neatly typed household inventories, which she then bound, along with photographs and fabric samples, in a scrapbook. In America's Doll House, Smithsonian curator William L. Bird, Jr., weaves this visual material into the rich tapestry of Faith Bradford's miniature world. featuring vibrant color photography that brings every narrative detail to life, America's Doll House is both an incisive portrait of a sentimental pastime and a celebration of Bradford's remarkable and painstaking accomplishment.

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