Publishing, Pretense, and Pigeons: The Case of Madame Knip

This post was written by Alexandra K. Neuman, library technician in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History.     The pigeons most of us are used to seeing—the ones that suddenly appear out of nowhere and descend upon a dropped bit of food—are often various shades of grey, some with touches of brown. No drama.     However, different breeds of pigeon can be very dramatic indeed—as can scholarship more »

Preserving “Nimm Mich Mit!”

This blog post was written by Noah Smutz, book conservator. Nimm Mich Mit! by Lothar Meggendorfer is a lovely early 20th century German visual dictionary filled with colorful illustrations. They include everyday objects including geometric shapes, kitchen utensils, clothing, plants, animals, people at work, and house interiors (learn more in a recent blog post ). This book is part of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Library collection in New York City.  

Looking Closely: Two Women in Book History

The Smithsonian Libraries does not contain an overwhelming number of notable bookbindings in its collections. Unlike some other research institutions, fine or interesting covers are not a collecting focus or reason for acquiring a title. Many of our books have had a hard life, well-used over the decades by staff and researchers in the museums’ departments. These survivors have often been rebound in library buckram (sturdy but oh so boring) or been more »

Jihad in 19th Century Sudan, Part III

Egypt, Sudan, and Jihad are much in the news today. What follows is a brief overview of some of the history behind the news. We began with “Part I: The Mahdi’s world: Social and Political Conditions”.  followed by Part II:  The Mahdi’s World: Slavery, Bedrock of Sudan’s Economy.  This is the third and final installment. This blog series was written by Judith Schaefer, volunteer in the Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum more »

Nimm mich mit!

This post was contributed by David Holbert, Digital Imaging Specialist at the Smithsonian Libraries Digital Imaging Center. A wonderful German children’s book came through the Smithsonian Libraries’ Imaging Center recently for digitization.  It was a beautiful, but oddly shaped (9 x 24cm), picture book from the early twentieth century.  The book, Nimm mich mit!, was recently adopted through our Adopt-a-Book program by Linda and Jay Freedman, in honor of Miles & Lola more »

In Memoriam: William B. Walker (1930-2017)

William Bond Walker, the first librarian of the Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, died on February 22, 2017 at the age of 86. Bill Walker was hired in 1964 to manage the joint library of the National Collection of Fine Arts and the brand new National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. The arts library was originally housed in the Arts & Industries Building, and Bill was instrumental in planning for all aspects of more »

Explore the Freer/Sackler Bookshelf

Discover the wealth of information contained in the Freer and Sackler Galleries’ digitized publications. Spanning from 1753 to the present, these catalogues, journals, and manuscripts contain expert insights on a full spectrum of Asian art, culture, and history, as well as on American art and the history of the Galleries themselves.  

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