News From Our Blog

Image description: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) “Robbie the Robot” playing a game without human direction. See more examples of how DARPA’s Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is developing software to perform human-level tasks quickly and with minimal direction in this video on YouTube.

Image description: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) “Robbie the Robot” playing a game without human direction. See more examples of how DARPA’s Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is developing software to perform human-level tasks quickly and with minimal direction in this video on YouTube.

Image description: A scientist from the Minerals Management Service surveys the German U-boat U-701 off the coast of North Carolina as part of the Battle of the Atlantic Expedition. 
The expedition was the first part of a larger multi-year project to research and document a number of historically significant shipwrecks tragically lost during WWII. 
The project is dedicated to raising awareness of the war that was fought so close to the American coastline and to preserving our nation’s maritime history.
Photo from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration

Image description: A scientist from the Minerals Management Service surveys the German U-boat U-701 off the coast of North Carolina as part of the Battle of the Atlantic Expedition.

The expedition was the first part of a larger multi-year project to research and document a number of historically significant shipwrecks tragically lost during WWII.

The project is dedicated to raising awareness of the war that was fought so close to the American coastline and to preserving our nation’s maritime history.

Photo from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration

From the Library of Congress:

The Alan Lomax Fellows Program, established for a period of five years, supports scholarly research that contributes significantly to a greater understanding of the work of Lomax and the cultural traditions he documented over the course of a vigorous and highly productive seventy-year career. It provides an opportunity, for a period of up to 8 months, for concentrated use of materials from the Lomax Collection and other collections of the Library of Congress, through full-time residency at the Library. The program supports research projects in the disciplines of anthropology, ethnomusicology, ethnography, ethno-history, dance, folklore and folklife, history, literature, linguistics, and movement analysis, with particular emphasis on the traditional music, dance, and narrative of the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean, as well as methodologies for their documentation and analysis. We encourage interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways.

Applications are due on February 28. Learn more about the fellowship and how to apply.

Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest documenters of traditional culture during the twentieth century. The Lomax Collection is a major collection of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials that represent Alan Lomax’s lifetime of work to document and analyze traditional music, dance, storytelling and other expressive genres that arise from cultural groups in many parts of the world, particularly the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean.

Learn more about the Lomax Collection.

What’s In Common Dietary Supplements?

If you’ve ever wondered what’s in a certain dietary supplement, like over-the-counter vitamins and minerals, or if a certain product is safe for you to take, the Dietary Supplements Labels Database can help you find the answers.

The database has information about the ingredients in several thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. Those ingredients might be vitamins, minerals, herbs/plants, amino acids, or enzymes. Information is also given on any product claims made by a supplement’s manufacturer. The database can help you find answers to questions such as:

  • What are the ingredients shown on the label of a supplement?
  • How much of the daily recommended allowance for a nutrient is in a specific product?
  • Can I compare the amount of a specific nutrient between products?
  • What are the inactive ingredients in a product?
  • Which products do not contain animal products?
  • Can I find studies that indicate the proven medical benefits of specific ingredients?
  • Can I find information on the toxicity of specific ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific product? How do I contact this manufacturer?

Ingredients in the Dietary Supplements Labels Database are linked to other National Library of Medicine databases such as MedlinePlus and PubMed that provide more information about the ingredients, such as the results of research studies on possible health effects of the ingredients.

Research includes:

  • How the ingredients are used in humans
  • Any adverse effects
  • Mechanisms of action

You can search the database by brand names, uses noted on product labels, specific active ingredients, and manufacturers.

Ask an Archivist on June 9

June 9 is Ask Archivists Day, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is participating in the event on Twitter.

Archivists collect, preserve, and protect our historical records and documents. This could be anything from old letters to photographs to emails. An archivist might be able to help you find information about your family using historical military records, land records, or ship passenger logs.

Archivists can help you answer questions such as:

  • What was the occupation of my great great grandfather?
  • Did I have any relatives immigrate through Ellis Island?
  • Who owned my house 100 years ago?

If you have a question for an archivist, just ask it on Twitter using the #AskArchivists hashtag on June 9. The @USNatArchives will be fielding questions for NARA and individual employees will be ready to help. You can also contact NARA via email or phone.

Other government agencies participating in Ask Archivists Day include:

  • Archives of American Art, Smithsonian, @ArchivesAmerArt
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, @CarterLibrary
  • National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Library of Congress, @ndiipp
  • National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, @amhistorymuseum
  • Smithsonian Institution, @smithsonian

Please note that archivists can’t perform detailed research for you, but they can point you in the right direction. If you’re new to archival research, NARA’s Getting Started Overview is a good introduction.