Meghan Doherty, one of Smithsonian Libraries 2009 Dibner Resident Scholars, began her studies at the Dibner Library in the National Museum of American History on January 5. Her research tenure will extend through March, and she will return again for the month of June.
Meghan is working on her doctoral dissertation “Carving Knowledge: Engraving, Etching, and Early Modern Science,” which focuses on how tools used in printmaking played a role in the creation of knowledge. She is researching the engraver’s burin and the etcher’s needle, and the use of these tools in the making of printed images by and for members of the Royal Society of England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Meghan plans to use several rare books from the Dibner Library’s collection to aid with two chapters of her dissertation, including Robert Hooke’s “Micrographia” and two of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek’s “Anatomia” texts.
Meghan is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also earned an M.A. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a B.A. with Honors in Art History from the University of Chicago. She says studying at the Dibner Library appealed to her “because of the depth and quantity of the resources.” After earning her PhD in 2010, Meghan hopes to become a college professor of art history. —Liz O'Brien