“The Curious Mr. Catesby” Receives 2016 Annual Literature Award

Congratulations to Leslie Overstreet! The Catesby Commemorative Trust’s The Curious Mr. Catesby: A “Truly Ingenious” Naturalist Explores New Worlds book has been awarded the 2016 Annual Literature Award by the Council of Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. Leslie, Curator of Natural-History Rare Books in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, authored the chapter titled “The Publication of Mark Catesby’s The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands.”

Passenger Pigeon Lands a Permanent Perch

The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens presented The Lost Bird Project exhibition from March 2014 – May 2015. Housed in the Smithsonian’s gardens, it featured large-scale bronze sculpture memorials of five extinct North American birds: the Carolina parakeet, the Labrador duck, the passenger pigeon, the great auk, and the heath hen. The Lost Bird Project dedicated one bird, the passenger pigeon, to remain permanently with the Smithsonian – in front of the more »

Burpee Foundation: Cultivating America’s Gardens

For as long as he can remember, George Ball, Chairman and CEO of W. Atlee Burpee and Chairman of the Board of the Burpee Foundation, has been gardening. As a young boy, his grandmother would send him to the yard to weed, watching him from her rocking chair on the porch. As George recalls, at the beginning of one spring, tulips popped up and he was enraptured by their beauty – he’d never seen anything like them. Curious, he put his nose into a tulip; he was so small that the flower engulfed his entire face. George remembers feeling absorbed by the wonder of the tulip; it was like a little world, with the petals enveloping his cheeks and an ant crawling around inside. A fascination, love, and reverence for flowers was born, as the tulip encounter tickled his senses of sight, smell, and touch. George was hooked, and gardening eventually became his lifelong work and passion.

Art Deco Unveiled at the Smithsonian Libraries

For Chicago natives and Art Deco enthusiasts Jackie Vossler and Joe Loundy, supporting two new design internships at the Smithsonian Libraries was a no-brainer. Jackie, a self-described bibliophile and member of Chicago’s Caxton Club, has been acquainted with the Libraries for three years. Along with Joe, she was intrigued by Art Deco treasures found in our trade literature collection, most notably the Edward F. Caldwell & Co. collection, a visually stunning repository of more than 50,000 photographs and original design drawings of lighting fixtures that the company produced from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries (supplied to notable clients such as the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, and the Roosevelts).

My Visit to the Dibner Library

This is a guest post by Charles Solomon, 7th grader at Forsythe Middle School (Ann Arbor, Mich.), who accompanied his father, Matthew Solomon, to DC for his March 3 lecture, Fantastic Voyages of the Cinematic Imagination at the National Museum of American History. The lecture was presented in tandem with our current exhibition, Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910.

Join us for “Indoor Recess”!

On February 5th, the Smithsonian Libraries presented its first Indoor Recess, a creative lunchtime getaway geared toward museum professionals and educators. Led by Sara Cardello, the Libraries’ education specialist, the monthly Recess events seek to fuse libraries and art. Participants are invited to bring their lunch, listen to a fun story by a museum professional, and make a themed craft. The next Indoor Recess is happening today at noon!

Supporting the Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library’s (BHL) free, open-access collections and services enable scientists to find the information they need to identify, describe, and conserve the world’s species and habitats. BHL collections have been recognized as critical to the international scientific community.

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