I’m excited to announce this week is my first week working for the Othmer Library division at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. CHF’s name isn’t necessarily optimal at explaining what the organization does: It’s actually an independent history of science institute (not in fact focusing exclusively on chemistry), with a museum, significant archival collection, and ongoing research activities. As they say on their home page, “The Chemical Heritage Foundation is dedicated to explaining a simple truth: science has a past and our future depends on it.” That’s a nice way to put it.
I’ll be working, at least initially, mostly on the Hydra/Sufia stack. CHF has been a significant contributor to this open source staff already (with existing developer Anna Headley, who’s still here at CHF, fortunately for us all!), and I am happy to be at a place that prioritizes open source contributions. CHF has some really interesting collections (medieval alchemical manuscripts? Oral histories from scientists? that and more), which aren’t available on the web yet — but we’re working on it.
CHF is located in Philadelphia, but I’ll still be in Baltimore, mostly working remotely, with occasional but regular visits. (Conveniently, Philadelphia is only about 100 miles from Baltimore).
And I’m very happy to be back in the library community. It’s a little bit less confusing now if I tell people I’m “a librarian”. Just a little. I definitely missed being in the library world, and the camaraderie and collaboration of the library open source tech community in my year+ I was mostly absent from it — it really is something special.
I have nothing but good things to say about Friends of the Web, where I spent the past 15 months or so. I’ll miss working with my colleagues there and many aspects of the work environment. They’re really a top-notch design and Rails/React/iOS dev firm, and if you’re looking for high-quality design or app implementation work, if you need something done in either web design or app development (or both!) that you don’t have in-house resources to do, I don’t hesitate to recommend them.