“Color in a New Light” tote bags now available

Back to school means back to books! And why not tote around your favorite tomes in a Color in a New Light tote bag? Through the Smithsonian Libraries exhibition Color in a New Light , visitors follow the theme of color through the collections and make a few unexpected connections and discoveries. Now, book lovers from near and far can bring home a piece of Color with this promotional tote bag, available 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).

Happy 45th Birthday, Warren M. Robbins Library!

The Warren M. Robbins Library at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. From a collection of a few hundred books in Mr. Robbins’ personal collection in 1971, the Library has grown to a remarkable 50,000 volumes. It enjoys the reputation of being the premier library in the United States for the research and study of the visual arts of Africa. Our collection of 5,000 African more »

Adopt “Travels into North America”

Pehr Kalm (1716-1779), a Swedish-Finnish explorer and botanist, was a student of the great naturalist Carl Linnaeus. In fact, Kalm was one of the many “apostles” of Linnaeus sent out to explore the world, and one of the few who didn’t die in the process. To begin the research that later culminated in Travels into North America, Kalm arrived on the continent in 1748.  Based in Philadelphia, he worked and traveled with more »

Smithsonian Libraries Receives 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Award

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has selected the “Biodiversity Heritage Library Field Notes Project” for a 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives award. The award of $491,713 will help support increased accessibility to original scientific documentation found in archival field notes in participating institution collections. Field notes provide valuable, primary research data about species and ecosystems that is often unpublished or unavailable through other sources. They can also more »

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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