The Chakras at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library

*+-This post was originally featured on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s “Object of the Day” blog, written by digital media technologist Katie Shelly. Last year, our librarian Stephen Van Dyk picked up this slender blue hardcover at a rare book auction. He didn’t know exactly what a “chakra” was, but still he found the worn old book remarkable, if not a bit weird, for its striking illustrations of big painted circles.

Viewing the Universe from the Dibner Library

*+-The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology was created from a gift by Bern Dibner, electrical engineer, inventor, collector, and science historian. At the heart of this collection are Dibner’s “Heralds of Science” ,  200 seminal works that Dibner himself believed marked significant scientific advancement in their respective fields. One area that is particularly fascinating is the astronomy section.

A collection of quotes for National Library Week

*+-If you’ve been following our social media posts for National Library Week (#NLW15), you may have seen a few of our favorite library and book related quotes. In case you missed them, we’ve collected them here for your viewing pleasure. For even more inspiring quotes, visit  Libraryquotes.com, a project of the American Library Association.

The history behind the Libraries

*+-Huzzah! It’s National Library Week! April 12th-18th has been designated by the American Library Association as a special time to highlight the importance of libraries in America. While we like to think that every week is “library week”, we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the amazing things that libraries do.  We’ll be sharing some fun facts and quotes about libraries in our social media outlets this week – follow along with us more »

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 2, Campaign Description

*+-The blog post, second of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, research assistant for Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean, an online exhibition part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. Read the first post in the series here. From 1836 to 1848, successively in command of the corvette “La Prévoyante,” “La Dordogne,” and finally the more »

Spring Break in Washington

*+-From March  16th-20th, the Smithsonian Libraries hosted five students from the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science as volunteers for Alternative Spring Break 2015.  Anna Gault, one of the spring break interns, shares her experience below. I am interning at the Smithsonian Libraries with five classmates from the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science. As  a graduate student studying Library and Information Science, spending Spring Break more »

Meiji Designs and Japanese Craft Artists

*+-This post was written by Reiko Yoshimura, head librarian of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library. As a result of the development of Japonisme in the 1860s, Japanese art and crafts became increasingly popular, especially in Europe. Following the Meiji Restoration (1868), the Japanese government began exhibiting a vast amount of art and craft objects in world expositions, namely, World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) and Paris expositions (1867, more »

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