The Fantastic Worlds of Jules Verne

Widely considered to be the father of science fiction, Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in the French seaport town of Nantes. Despite his father wanting him to follow in his footsteps as a lawyer, Verne dreamt of an adventurous life at sea and even secretly procured a spot as a cabin boy. As the legend goes, Verne’s plan was discovered by his father before the ship could set sail more »

Art and Artist Files Reveal Surrealist Jewels Designed by Salvador Dalí

The brilliant sparkle of a diamond, the saturated blood-red of a ruby, and the rich deep blue of a sapphire become the building blocks of one of Salvador Dalí’s lesser known artistic enterprises: jewelry design. The renowned Catalonian artist, most famous for his mind-bending Surrealist paintings of dream worlds and for his eccentricity as a self-proclaimed “genius,” began to design his jewelry collection in 1941 and continued the artistic project until 1970.

Lindbergh’s legacy at the Smithsonian Libraries

Charles Lindbergh, born on February 4th, 1902, made history in his aviation career as the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic.  “Lucky Lindy” soon became an American icon – flying his Spirit of St. Louis to all fifty states to promote air travel and advising airlines.  The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Library is the proud home to many unique items that represent Lindbergh’s legacy, both in aviation and more »

The trials and tribulations of post binding repair

The Book Conservation Lab often receives items that require new sewing or new adhesive on the text block as part of their treatment. Infrequently, an item arrives that has been bound atypically and extraordinary repair measures are needed.

#ColorOurCollections Coloring Event

From Feburary 1-5, 2016 the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is encouraging cultural institutions and crayon enthusiasts to join together for #ColorOurCollections. Institutions such as NYAM, the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Smithsonian Libraries will provide inspiration and coloring sheets for artists of all ages to fill in. Colorers can share their creations on social media by tagging the organization and using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections.

A funny thing happened on the way to my internship: What I accidentally learned in my first week as an AA/PG intern

This post was written by American Art/Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library intern Sharon Wolff. Sharon is an MSIS grad student at SUNY at Albany in New York, and came down to DC to intern with the AA/PG from the end of December through most of January. She primarily worked on cataloging the Art and Artist Files while she was there, along with the upcoming Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibit. I wasn’t entirely sure more »

Smithsonian Libraries Receives 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Award

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has selected the “Biodiversity Heritage Library Field Notes Project” for a 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives award. The award of $491,713 will help support increased accessibility to original scientific documentation found in archival field notes in participating institution collections. Field notes provide valuable, primary research data about species and ecosystems that is often unpublished or unavailable through other sources. They can also more »

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