This accession consists of the "Smithsonian Summer Showdown" website and selected associated social media. The Smithsonian Summer Showdown was a competition for which many of the museums, research centers, and zoo chose one "seriously amazing" item, experience, or piece of knowledge to be voted upon by the public. Competitors included the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoological Park, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian Gardens, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Anacostia Community Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Postal Museum, the Archives of American Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Asian Pacific American Center, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Folkways/Recordings, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian Libraries, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Digitization Program Office, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the Smithsonian Center for Digital Learning and Access. The competition was bracket-style with round one items grouped into science, history, art, and culture categories. Voters were eligible to win several prizes awarded by random drawings.
The competition ran between August 6 and August 24, 2015. The website was crawled during each of the three rounds and after the winner ("Raising Endangered Babies" at the National Zoological Park) was announced. The crawls include the brackets, the voting forms, the official rules of entry, and the prize details.
Throughout the competition, many of the Smithsonian Institution's Twitter accounts were used to promote the competition and encourage votes for particular items. One method used was "trash talk" between competing museums and research centers in which they engaged in playful conversations about how a particular item was better than another. Tweets with the #SIShowdown hashtag between August 3 and October 12, 2015, were also exported into a spreadsheet.
Materials are in electronic format.