The Fix – Outfitting a Satellite Conservation Lab

We recently carved out some space in the Natural History Building for a Conservation and Digitization Annex. The Annex allows us to do low to medium level repair on site where many of our Library books are housed. Preservation staff share the space with our digitization team. The goal was to reduce the amount of shipping between our main conservation lab  (located offsite in Maryland) and the majority of our materials located on the National Mall.  Our main concerns were books that are very large and fragile that we are reluctant to put through the stress of packing and shipping and volumes  that require simple repairs in order for them to be scanned.

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848

This post, one of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, volunteer at the National Museum of African Art. Part 1, Re-building an Empire and Emancipating Slaves Recovering from loss of empire following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the French sought to re-establish commerce and colonies in the Indian Ocean.  The task fell to Charles Guillain, who led a French expedition to the Swahili coast of Eastern Africa in 1846-1848.  Our record 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.

Spring 2015 Internships!

The Smithsonian Libraries is looking for a few great library school students (or recent grads!) to help us with some very interesting projects. These neat projects include:

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 »

Visitors from Paradise: The Paradiseidae

This post was written by Grace Costantino, Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). It first appeared on the BHL blog here. Deep within the rainforest canopy of the Aru Islands, just west of New Guinea, two male Greater Birds-of-Paradise dance among the branches in carefully coordinated steps, their magnificent yellow, white, and maroon plumage undulating gracefully to the rhythm of their own unique song.

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