A Real Life Wonder Woman Adventure

On January 24, 1944, 19 year-old Joye Kelly sat down to take a psychology exam final at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York, NY. As she pondered the test’s questions, she had no idea her answers would forever change her life.

Henry, Melville, and the Smithsonian

This post was written by Meredith Farmer, 2014 Resident Scholar, Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. The Dibner Resident Scholar Program is supported by the Dibner family. I’m originally from Galveston, TX, a place I frequently describe as home of a less-than-stellar beach and lots of hurricanes. However, growing up on the water made an impression on me, as I now spend quite a bit of time reading and writing more »

New Staff (Part 2)

We are pleased to introduce new staff members who joined the Libraries over the last year! Krista Aniel, Management Support Specialist, Administrative Services -Hometown: Jacksonville, FL -Favorite Book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier -Fun Fact: Krista attended Georgetown University (master’s degree) and Brigham Young University (bachelor’s degree) with her identical twin sister Krishna, who now works across the street from her office at the Museum of Natural History in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.   Salima Appiah-Duffell, Library Technician, Library Technician (Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery and Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden Libraries), Research Services -Hometown: Washington, D.C./Seabrook, Md. -Favorite Book: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell -Fun Fact: Salima met her husband in Malawi at a Peace Corps Halloween party. She was serving in the Peace Corps and he was volunteering at a trade school eight hours away. Pure fate brought these two – who are from opposite coasts in the States – together! Towana Barnett, Library Technician (Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait more »

New Staff (Part 1)

The Libraries has welcomed several new staff members in the past year. We are pleased to introduce you to them here! Grace Costantino, Outreach and Communication Manager, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Digital Services -Hometown: Denver, Colorado -Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien -Fun Fact: Grace and her husband love to travel and her favorite place thus far is Cape Town, South Africa. She hopes to visit at least one country on each continent (maybe even Antarctica!) and all 50 states. Hollis Gentry, Genealogy Specialist, National Museum of African American History & Culture Library, Research Services Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia Favorite Book: Anything from Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Octavia Butler Fun Fact: I was bitten by the genealogy bug at age 13 and have been addicted to tracing my genealogy for many years, to the end of the 18th century on my mom’s side of the family. I am thrilled to have landed my dream job of being a genealogist at a phenomenal library network within the more »

The Gift of Adoption

This entry was written by Linda Blancato, book lover and Adopt-a-Book supporter. I’ve always been a librarian at heart. My father was a master bookbinder who owned a bindery in Baltimore, Maryland. He instilled in his family a love and respect for all things related to books: the cover, the bindings, the pages, and of course the content. From a young age, I’ve always appreciated that the real value of books includes 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.

Adopt Ocean Gardens

Here’s your chance to adopt Ocean Gardens: The History of the Marine Aquarium (London, 1857) by Henry Noel Humphreys! Humphreys, an illustrator, entomologist, and scholar of medieval manuscripts, wrote this little volume on the history of the marine aquarium, which includes advice on creating and maintaining one, and detailed information on which varieties of plants and animals to choose. When this book was written, modern in-home aquariums were still a very recent more »

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