Lecture event: Questions for an Open Cultural Institution

Join us for a discussion with Dr. David Carr about the potential of, and challenges facing, a cultural institution in the modern age. Carr speaks, writes, and teaches about the value of cultural institutions as essential instruments for nourishing public imaginations in democratic societies.  For thirty years, he has consulted in diverse American museums as an advocate for collaborative adult experiences with collections and ideas. Carr invites us to think with him more »

“Once There Were Billions” t-shirts now available!

From June 24, 2014 – Jan 3, 2016, the Smithsonian Libraries presents “Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America”. The exhibition, on display in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, focuses on the story of the last Passenger Pigeon, the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen and how they reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment. Now you can remember these more »

“The Arc of the Moral Universe”

“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”. Speech given at the National Cathedral, March 31st, 1968.  

2015 Professional Development Internships now open for application

The Smithsonian Libraries is excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2015 Professional Development Internship program. These paid summer internships are six week-long opportunities for students in MLS or related graduate programs to gain valuable knowledge while working in the worlds’ largest museum library system! This year, applicants may select from two projects, detailed below. 

“Vengeance in his aspect”: When a Whale Hunted a Ship

This post was written by Julia Blakely, special collections  cataloger. It previously appeared on the Smithsonian Collections Blog. The trailer for the big Hollywood movie of Nathaniel Philbrick’s book In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (G530.E76 2000X NMAH) is out and it is terrifying. The true saga of the Essex inspired aspects of Moby Dick, or the title as it originally was published, The Whale, thirty more »

Artists Books tour for the 13th Biennial Book Arts Fair and Conference

This post was written by Anna Brooke, head of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery Library. We just can’t get enough of art book fairs! Local nonprofit, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, for printmaking, papermaking and book arts, sponsored the 13th Biennial Book Arts Fair and Conference,  last month. As one of the DC tours offered to participants, the Hirshhorn Museum Library gave a presentation on our collection of artist’s books. American Art more »

The Fix – Paperwork you can love

This post was written by Vanessa Haight Smith, Head of Preservation Services. The Book Conservation Lab makes use of hand-made marbled papers in some of our book treatments and projects.  Originally used for decorative book covers and endsheets, marbled papers are occasionally replaced during treatments with new handmade papers when the originals are substantially damaged or missing. 

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