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The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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From the Stacks 

July 16, 2009

One Small Step

Children admire Apollo 11 lunar sample at the Academy in 1970.  N2579D, Copyright California Academy of Sciences Library, Special Collections.  Photo by Lloyd Ullberg.

Children admire Apollo 11 lunar sample at the Academy in 1970. N2579D, Copyright California Academy of Sciences Library, Special Collections. Photo by Lloyd Ullberg.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the liftoff of  Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the Moon.  Four days later, on July 20,1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to walk on the lunar surface.

But what does that have to do with the Academy Library?  Believe it or not, several things:

This is the first post on the Academy Library’s new blog.  After days of debating what the first post should be about, the commemoration of such an incredible scientific and technological achievement seems like a no-brainer for kicking off the blog.

One of the reasons I started this blog is that people ask me all the time, “What do librarians do all day?” or “Why do we need libraries anymore?”  One answer to these questions is that libraries are a fantastic venue for interesting research and projects that might not fit in at other institutions.  Librarians are in the business of finding, collecting, categorizing, and preserving information, and finding ways to share that information with other people.  We do this in a variety of ways, including our library catalogs and archival finding aids.  Another way libraries share information with the masses is through the development of exhibits or other projects, like this one from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, which happens to be about the Apollo 11 mission http://www.wechoosethemoon.org.  You can follow the activities of the Apollo 11 mission in real time, with historic archival footage and images.  Click on the URL to see what phase of the mission was unfolding exactly 40 years ago right now.

The California Academy of Sciences once hosted a piece of Apollo 11 history: a moon rock, collected by Neil Armstrong at Tranquility Base in July 1969.  The photograph above was taken while the lunar sample was on exhibit at the Academy in the summer of 1970.  The lunar sample currently on exhibit at the Academy is from a 1972 mission.

Be sure to tune in to http://www.wechoosethemoon.org at 10:56 pm EST on July 20th to see how the Kennedy Library and Museum reenacts Armstrong’s walk on the moon.  Then come to the Academy and look at our moon rock.  Tell ‘em the Librarian sent you.


Filed under: Academy History,Exhibits,Special Collections — Librarian @ 5:22 pm

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