“Every one knows what a bird is.” Or do they?

This post was written by intern Becca Greenstein. Becca is currently pursuing her Master’s in Library Science at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  She has always had a passion for research, teaching/helping others and seeing the direct impact of her work, and collaboration across departments and institutions (and, of course, reading), so library school has been a good fit for her.  After she graduates, she hopes to continue honing these skills while more »

Color with us on National Coloring Book Day!

Sharpen your colored pencils! Tomorrow, August 2nd , is National Coloring Book Day! To celebrate, we’ve put together a second set of coloring pages based on images in our collection. The booklet, which features 11 pages of pretty pictures begging to be colored, is available as a downloadable pdf file (10 MB) on our webpage here. Shade in a few sea shells, diatom cells or fancy French fashion plates. Share your creations more »

Upcoming Events in August

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to host a full roster of events in the Washington DC area in the month of August. Topics include South African artists’ books, early natural history collections and more! All are tied to our current exhibitions: Artists’ Books and Africa, Color in a New Light and Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910. Click on the links in the event titles for additional details and RSVP information.

Time Flies in the SILRA Stacks

This post was written by Deborah Bauder, summer intern in the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SILRA). Six weeks at the Smithsonian Libraries goes fast! I arrived here at the beginning of June excited and ready to tackle a project at the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SILRA) under the guidance of Daria Wingreen-Mason. Now in my last week here, I can’t believe how time has flown. I’m a second year graduate student at more »

Fall 2016 Internship Opportunities

The Smithsonian Libraries are excited to offer a range of internship opportunities for Fall 2016. Although most are part-time and in the DC area, please note the specific hours and geographic location for each.  Applications are open until August 5th, or until filled.

Shells and art in Recreatio mentis et oculi

The post was written by Daniel Euphrat, Digital Imaging Technician. The 1684 book Recreatio mentis et oculi by Filippo Buonanni is mainly a scientific text about mollusks. However, in addition to many informative illustrations of shells, there are a few more fanciful (and slightly terrifying) illustrations of Giuseppe Arcimboldo-style faces made out shells:  

Explore “The history of aquatic animals” this summer

As you head to the seashore or lakeside this summer, take a moment to consider the contributions of Ippolito Salviani to natural history. Salviani’s book on aquatic animals, Aquatilium animalium historiae (The history of aquatic animals), is one of a handful of 16th-century works that helped established ichthyology as a modern science. A professor of medicine at the University of Rome and physician to several Popes, Salviani collected fishes in the markets of Rome for more »

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