A new database from the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center will guide researchers on where to find invention-related documents and collections. The MIND (Modern Inventors Documentation) database identifies the invention-related holdings of hundreds of archives across the United States and is the nation's first database devoted exclusively to such documents. The collections in the database cover a variety of subjects, with many from medical, consumer, scientific, household and legal fields. With more than 1,700 records when it debuted in May, it is continuing to grow daily as more archives, museums, libraries and historical societies report the contents of their invention-related collections to the Smithsonian for inclusion in the MIND database. Users simply submit a key word to search and if the invention is in the database it will note what materials exist about the invention, which museum, archive or library holds the collection, and how to contact them for more details. Where possible, there is also information on how to access the collection and a direct web link to the collection or its holder. Advanced search options allow the user to search by repository, inventor name, or collection title. Users can also search for inventions from a list of over sixty subjects.
To access the MIND database, please visit:
Repositories with relevant collections are invited to contribute information about their holdings. Requests to participate in the database can be sent to: Alison Oswald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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