Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 1, Re-building an Empire and Emancipating Slaves.

This post, one of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, volunteer at the National Museum of African Art. Recovering from loss of empire following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the French sought to re-establish commerce and colonies in the Indian Ocean.  The task fell to Charles Guillain, who led a French expedition to the Swahili coast of Eastern Africa in 1846-1848.  Our record of his travels is enshrined in a magisterial more »

Lepidochromy: Butterfly Transfer Prints

In honor of Halloween and the very last day of Archives Month, we present you with this creepy cool look at an unusual printing example in our collection, one that uses the wings of real butterflies. This post was written by Daria Wingreen-Mason, Special Collections Technical Information Specialist in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History.

Spring 2015 Internships!

The Smithsonian Libraries is looking for a few great library school students (or recent grads!) to help us with some very interesting projects. These neat projects include:

Lecture and Book Signing by Christopher Cokinos – tomorrow!

Please join us Tuesday, October 28th, for a lecture and book signing with Christopher Cokinos, author of Hope is the thing with feathers: A personal chronicle of vanished birds.

Art Librarian enjoys 2014 NY Art Book Fair

The weekend of September 25-28th art enthusiasts, bibliophiles, the simply curious made their way to the annual NY Art Book Fair. Held at  MoMA’s PS1 in Long Island City, Queens; this year’s event featured more than 350 artists, booksellers, and independent publishers  hailing from 28 countries. Last year’s fair attracted a crowd of 27,000.

The Fix – The Art of Camouflage

This post was written by Vanessa Haight Smith, Head of Preservation Services.  Japanese paper is used for many applications in book and paper conservation and I often choose this material when reattaching weak or detached boards.  The practice of toning Japanese paper hinges for reattaching boards to leather bindings, promoted by conservator Don Etherington, is widely used in the field.

Intern helps get a handle on grey literature

This post was written by David Edelmann, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library intern. As an intern for the SERC (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) Library, working under SERC librarian, Sue Zwicker, I was tasked with tackling a review of the Library’s Chesapeakiana Collection. The goals of the project were to: Create a bibliographic spreadsheet organizing all of the titles, Research each individual title for digital copies on the internet, Save and organize any more »

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