"As a scientific illustrator, one must be able to convey a detailed, clear and accurate depiction of a specimen. Scientific illustrations are an important part of the documentation that makes a specimen museum-quality - along with field and research notes, accession records, photographs, and correspondence about the specimen. A scientific illustration captures information about a plant or animal, information that is often missing from the museum specimen. Scientific illustrations depict the scientifically important features of the organism being studied. They often also describe that organism's natural environment."
(National Museum of American History)
Fig.1 George Venable (1992). Drawing of a Carabid beetle from South America, created for the research of Dr. Terry L. Erwin of the Department of Entomology, courtesy of the Entomology Illustration Archive, NMNH
"The Smithsonian Institute's 'HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things' is an experimental programme through which you can take a virtual tour of selected objects from the vast collections of the National Museum of American History. The 450 items are clustered into groups such as home, clothing, business, computers,... and linked to attributes such as politics, medicine, and science. Users can click to get more details, search by attributes or filter by time period. This novel web site invites users to record their level of interest for items, which grow in size as they get higher scores."
(Shiralee Saul, 2002)