Liberating fashion: Poiret’s plates

This fashion plate from Les Robes De Paul Poiret (1908) is one of eleven illustrations, all recently scanned and now available for your viewing pleasure. Poiret is often credited with liberating women from the body constricting corsets popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837-1910).

Building a Digital Bridge: Connecting Museum and Library Content

The invisible boundary between the cataloging systems of museums and libraries has traditionally presented challenges to the integration of intrinsically-connected content. The achievements of Europeana and Australia’s Trove systems demonstrate the power of combining museum and library catalogs on a large scale. Cooper-Hewitt’s recent Historical Publications initiative combines the resources of the Museum and Library, focusing on past museum publications and successfully bridging two divergent collection systems.

Art & Science: Twins Separated at Birth?

As an art librarian, I was expecting to feel a little like a fish out of water at the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s (BHL) Life and Literature conference held at the Field Museum in Chicago.  However, the intrinsic relationship between Art and Science was a recurring theme explored by over 120 attendees from across the globe who gathered to focus on the future of BHL. Naturgeschichte in Bildern : mit erläuterndem Text / Von Professor Dr. Strack. Lief. 4. (Heft 33-56). Fische.Düsseldorf :Arnz & Co.,[1819-1826] Having scanned over 35 million pages (and counting) of scientific texts documenting life on earth, BHL is transforming how scientists do research.  Within these millions of pages are thousands of illustrations, which served as scientific documentation before the invention of photography.  Paging through these texts, it becomes clear that Art and Science have been inseparable from the beginning, each informing the other as they developed.  Serving as evidence, we find many rare botanical and zoological texts in art libraries, collected for artists and designers who look more »

Before Google images: The Kubler Picture Archive at Cooper-Hewitt Library

Blogs across the Smithsonian will give an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blogathon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.     With millions of digital images at our fingertips, it’s easy to forget the long history of picture collections that proceeded.  Many public and academic libraries across the country collected images from books, magazines, and various ephemera that might have otherwise been sold for scrap.  These picture collections, in physical and now digital formats, continue to meet the needs of artists, illustrators, designers, teachers, students and general researchers.  One such picture collection is the George A. Kubler Collection at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Library. George Adolf Kubler (1876-1944) was the founder and president of Certified Dry Mat Corporation.  The firm made stereotype matrices, an essential product for rotary press printing of newspapers that was used all over the world.  His more »

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