Amaryllis for Christmas

All I want for Christmas (really) is an amaryllis in full bloom. It is lovely to see poinsettias, beautiful products of the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse in Suitland, Maryland, placed about the museums, but there is something special about the amaryllis as a seasonal plant. Poinsettias have become too traditional, too expected, too (well) durable.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Bohumil Shimek and the onset of WWI

This post was written by Julia Blase, Field Book Project Manager. It first appeared on the Field Books Project Blog here. Recently, I sat down to scan two diaries of Bohumil Shimek, a botanist, zoologist, and geologist of Czech descent whose field books came to the Smithsonian along with his extensive collection of specimens after his death in 1937. He is well-known for his long career and extensive study of the geology and ecology of more »

New Online Exhibitions! Notable Women and Latinos in Natural History

This post was written by Grace Costantino, Outreach and Communications Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). We are pleased to announce the release of two new BHL online exhibitions: Early Women in Science and Latino Natural History. Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee awarded a one-year grant to Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) to build online exhibitions to showcase the scientific and historical contributions of Women and Latino naturalists and illustrators. The project, entitled Notable Women and Latinos in Natural History, draws from content in BHL and uses the Biodiversity Library Exhibition (BLE) platform developed by BHL Europe.

Meet Lesley Parilla!

Originally from Nebraska, Lesley Parilla is our new cataloger for the Field Book Project. Her first position at the Smithsonian was as a volunteer at the National Museum of Natural History, where she met the staff establishing the Field Book Project. Lesley soon became the first contractor hired for the Project and helped develop its initial cataloging procedures and workflow. The Project then migrated to the Smithsonian Institution Archives, until the summer 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.

Meet Julia Blase!

Julia Blase is originally from Tucson, Arizona. She moved to D.C. in 2013 as part of the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum Library and Services’s National Digital Stewardship Residency program, where she led a digital asset management project for the National Security Archive. Prior to D.C. she lived in Denver, Colorado, where she was pursuing her master of library and information science from Denver University while managing the Denali Centennial online exhibit project at the American Alpine Club Library. She also earned a master’s degree in management from the Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Duke University.

Wine and Washington

Now that the time of harvesting grapes for wine in the Northern Hemisphere is coming to a close, let’s raise an appreciative glass and toast John Adlum, known to a few as the “Father of American Viticulture.” The history of wine making in the United States is involved, to say the least (see Pinney’s magisterial work on the subject*) but it was Adlum who nurtured the first commercially viable vine in this more »

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