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 »

Senate Recognizes Martha

Just in the nick of time at the end of Martha’s centennial year, a resolution passed the Senate on December 17 calling attention to the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the last known passenger pigeon. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reported the passage, which was the final act of the 113th congressional session.

Tour for Quirk Endowment

Recently longtime museum supporter Betty Quirk brought a group to visit the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library. Head Librarian Doug Litts set up a book display for the guests which included catalogues and several artists’ books.

In Memoriam of Sharon Layne

It is with great sadness that we tell you of the sudden death of Sharon Layne, Library Technician in our Preservation Services Department, on December 18, 2014. Sharon was a faithful, dedicated employee of the Smithsonian for 26 years.

Brilliant Watercolors Light Up the Dibner Library

This post is submitted by Lilla Vekerdy, Head, Special Collections. The Dibner Library of the History of the Science and Technology has acquired a nineteenth-century manuscript with artistically and scientifically outstanding watercolor illustrations.

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