- This post was contributed by Kelsey Clark, intern at the Smithsonian AA/PG Library summer 2013. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created during the Great Depression as the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works. This included artists, such as William Gropper, Marsden Hartley, Henry Varnum Poor, or Ben Shahn, who painted murals across the nation, from inside Coit Tower in San Francisco to the Harlem Hospital in New York City. The Smithsonian Libraries collection has books and archival material on the WPA projects, including a file on one man intimately connected to the government project: Dr. Francis V. O’Connor. During my internship, I was given the “O’Connor File” as a research project – a box filled with files containing published articles and books he had written, archival notes, and letter correspondence between the former Librarians at the National Portrait Gallery and various patrons concerning the rights to read some mysterious “questionnaires” that were somehow connected to O’Connor and the WPA. What were more »
Tomorrow, December 7th, 2013, marks the 72nd anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. On that day in 1941, Japanese bombers and other aircraft launched a surprise attack on the U.S.’s Pearl Harbor naval base on Hawaii’s Oahu island. The attack left nearly 2,500 dead and over 1,000 wounded. In addition it destroyed hundreds of American ships and aircraft and launched the United States into World War II. Congress and President Franklin more »
Throughout the year, the Smithsonian Libraries works with brand managers at the Smithsonian Enterprises to develop products based on unique items in our collection. From sleigh beds to weather vanes, our books have inspired a variety of merchandise! Not only are they neat items, but a portion of the proceeds comes back to the Libraries for the care and maintenance of our collection. Below is a list of perfectly giftable items just more »
This was written by Hirshhorn Library volunteer, Elena Grant. In the summer of 2013, while preparing donated books for cataloging at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden library, we discovered an uncatalogued item—a 14 ½ by 11 ½-inch portfolio of reproductions titled 22 Selected Masterpieces: French Moderns, Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, USSR. The unfamiliar publisher name “Bookniga” and name of the long-extinct museum in the title attracted our attention. We decided more »
On November 20-22 the Smithsonian Libraries hosted a three day workshop, “Understanding Asian Papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation,” given by Minah Song, a paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia. The workshop began with a lecture on the process of papermaking in China, Korea and Japan and then moved onto hands-on techniques including learning different lining techniques, toning or paper with fiber reactive dyes, parchment repair and more »
We have the perfect activity to help you burn off some of tomorrow’s turkey dinner! Exercise your finger muscles by helping us transcribe the Scrapbook of Early Aeronatica! Collected by William Upcott, this first volume contains correspondence, clippings, ephemera, articles and illustrations, which cover early experiments, adventures and inventions in aeronautics starting with the Montgolfier brothers.