Vintage Fireworks for the Fourth

+-*This post was written by Adrian Vaagenes, intern in the National Museum of American History Library. The 4th of July is upon us, and for many of us this means, to borrow a quote from The Simpsons, it’s “time to celebrate the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it”. Just as we enjoy lighting roman candles, sparklers, cherry bombs, and m-80’s, these pieces of trade literature in more »

Celebrate America with Gibson’s “Americans”

+-*Charles Gibson (1867-1944) is one of the best known illustrators of the Gilded Age primarily due to his creation, the Gibson Girl, who became an icon of American beauty. As an illustrator he was talented in depicting relationships between men and women and submitted illustrations to such magazines as Harper’s Weekly, Life, and Harper’s Monthly. In 1890 he introduced a modernized beautiful female character with upswept hair, fashionable clothes, and imbued with more »

Now Open: Fantastic Worlds

+-*This post was written by Kirsten van der Veen, co-curator of “Fantastic Worlds.” When the west wing of the National Museum of American History reopens today,  July 1, after extensive renovations, a new Smithsonian Libraries exhibition will be opening with it: Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910. It will be the first exhibition to debut in the newly refurbished Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery. On display will be some of the very works that exposed an eager and curious public to the wealth of new ideas and inventions of the 19th century (landmarks of scientific discovery, imaginative fictions, popular science, newspaper hoaxes, dime novels, and more). Showcased alongside selected historical artifacts from Smithsonian museum collections, the books on exhibition will trace the impact of the period’s science on the world of fiction.

Fall 2015 Internship Opportunities

+-*The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce two opportunities for Fall 2015 internships. Each project offers a unique learning experience that would benefit any student interested in library work. For students in undergrad or graduate library and information science programs, we are happy to work with universities to help students obtain academic credit or fulfill practicum requirements. These projects are particularly well suited for students with enthusiasm for instructional design or collections more »

What’s in a Name? The Related Talents of Mark Catesby and Gertrude Jekyll

+-*The Catesby Commemorative Trust launched the publication of The Curious Mister Catesby with a program at the National Museum of Natural History this past April. Smithsonian Libraries’ own Leslie Overstreet, a contributor to these various perspectives on Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama islands (London, 1729-1747), spoke on that work’s long, complicated printing history. Another speaker, E. Charles Nelson, presented his research into the naturalist’s biography. His more »

Herding the Fuzzy Bits: What do you do after Crowdsourcing?

+-*So you’re a library or museum and you’ve been crowdsourcing and now you’ve collected lots of fantastic data. What do you do with it? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about crowdsourcing but you’re not sure how you would integrate what you get with the data you already have. The truth is that crowdsourcing often yields lots of fuzzy data and fuzzy solutions for reintegration with existing content. It can be challenging to more »

“Langley Leap” at the Hirshhorn Library

+-*This post was written by Lily Zhang, a senior at Langley High School. I had no idea how real senioritis was until I caught it. Worse than the common cold, the dreaded senioritis hinders motivation with distracting visions of prom, parties, and graduation. But at Langley High in McLean, we are provided with a novel cure: no school. While other seniors in surrounding high schools continue to attend school in May, Langley seniors have the opportunity to “leap” outside school walls and participate in a 10-day internship of our choosing. The Langley Leap program gives us a chance to explore possible areas of interest beyond classroom lectures and tests, an opportunity I believe to be irreplaceable and essential to the overall high school experience.

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