Newly Digitized: Japanese Illustrated Books from the Edo and Meiji Periods (1600-1912)

The Freer | Sackler Library of the Smithsonian Libraries have completed digitizing over 1100 volumes/41500 images from its collection of illustrated Japanese woodblock-printed books and manuscripts from the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912).

Explore natural history collections with “I See Wonder Hunt”

Smithsonian Libraries has partnered with the National Museum of Natural History to create a mobile museum scavenger hunt. This in-person hunt allows you to explore Libraries online collections while hunting for objects in the Natural History museum.  

Conservation of a Flipbook

The Smithsonian Libraries was recently gifted the flipbook Eagles in Flight. A flipbook is a grouping of still images of movement that when quickly “flipped” give the illusion of actual movement. The books reached their height of popularity  at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. This book is from a series entitled Flicker (because they are known as flickerbooks  in the UK where this title was printed) more »

Cooling Off at a Soda Fountain from 1920

As the weather gets hot, let’s look at a catalog to encourage thoughts of something a bit cooler in temperature. Perhaps a trade catalog related to soda fountains?

The Textile Thief and the Great British Manufacturers

Written by Jessica Masinter. She is a summer intern in the Cooper Hewitt Library and a literary studies major at Middlebury College. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Indian textiles were the height of quality. Their exotic patterns, brilliant colors and dye fastness drove customer appeal among the English bourgeoisie to the point where India was considered by some to be the industrial workshop of the world. British textile manufacturers desperately tried more »

‘The Whole Man at Once’: Scientific Identities at the Dibner Library – Antoine-François, comte de Fourcroy

This post was written by Michelle Farias, intern in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. For more in this series, see previous posts about Edward Jenner and Joseph Jerome Le Francais de Lalande by Morgan E. Aronson. The five portraits collected by Bern Dibner that feature Antoine-François, comte de Fourcroy, show the chemist in two distinct periods of his life. While the portraits are not dated, two of more »

Hawaiian Fishes: From science to souvenir

Hawaiian fishes is a diminutive book in our Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, but its flashy red cover with gilt lettering certainly catches the eye. The interior, 12 plates of flamboyant tropical fish, is just as engaging. The book certainly piqued my interest when it was featured by the Biodiversity Heritage Library in social media posts last week.     It was produced by the Island Curio Company in more »

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