It’s Back to School in 1872

September 15, 2014

The new school year has begun. So we decided to search the Trade Literature Collection for catalogs showing school furniture or supplies. And we came across this Robert Paton catalog which shows the furniture students in 1872 might have seen on their first day of school.

Vauban’s Treatise on Seiges added to Transcription Center

September 5, 2014

Sébastien Vauban (1633-1707) was the premier military engineer of his age and revolutionized siege warfare. Vauban was a Marshal of France as well as a Marquis. He is best known for his engineering and theoretical approach to fortifications, both on the design and attack fronts. One of his fascinating manuscripts on the fortification of cities was recently uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center where you can help uncover its secrets.  

Ephemeral Thoughts during the Waning Days of Summer

September 3, 2014

This post was written by rare books cataloger Julia Blakely. It originally appeared on the Smithsonian Collections Blog. The spectacular display of the capital cherry trees of this year is but a happy, distant memory and the gardens of Washington have that hot, exhausted look of August, escaping into a rare gardening book is in order. The Cullman Library has a survivor of an ephemeral form of publication—nursery trade catalogs—that are valuable not more »

Labor Day

September 1, 2014

We hope you get a break from punching the clock and a chance to enjoy your time off, American workers! If you are looking for a little holiday reading, perhaps reflect on the origins of the day with this blog post from last year.  

The Fix: Common Conservation Techniques for Stabilizing Books

August 26, 2014

This post was written by Katie Boodle, Book Conservation Lab intern. As part of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Conservation of Library Materials Internship, I had the opportunity to work on projects that addressed common conservation problems in archives and special collections: preparing works for digitization and creation of enclosures. Conservation in general is focused primarily on the stabilization of ethnographic, historical, and/or artistic objects for future or continued use. A lot of our more »

A visit to the Hirshhorn

August 22, 2014

This post was written by Salima Appiah-Duffell, library technician at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery Library. Salima recently joined our staff in July. Welcome, Salima! When I started library school at Catholic University, working at the Smithsonian (Institution) seemed like a beautiful, but impossible dream. Now, with my Master’s in hand, I’ve started my second career exactly where I hoped.  I’ve been a more »

Publications from the United States National Museum added to SRO

August 20, 2014

Thanks to support from the National Museum of Natural History,  Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) is adding a large body of legacy publications to its database this year. The source of the data is the annual reports of the United States National Museum (USNM) from the 1870s to the 1960s which often included an appendix listing staff publications. Some years there was no data listed, for example during World War II.

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