Smithsonian Libraries hosts Catesby Commemorative Trust Book Launch

Before John James Audubon, Englishman and naturalist Mark Catesby (1682-1749) was documenting natural world.  His etchings of flora and fauna in the “new world”  of America are treasured by many. The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to host the launch of The Catesby Trust’s book tour for  The Curious Mr. Catesby: a “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds, with speakers Dr. Charles Nelson, David E. Elliot  and our own Curator of Natural History more »

Ein wunderbarer Duft von Farben (a wonderful bouquet of colors)

Striking early 20th-century color photographs from the African colonies of the German Empire

Striking early 20th-century color photographs from the African colonies of the German Empire In the summer of 2014, I worked on a library cataloging and itemization project at the National Museum of African Art in the Warren M. Robbins Library.  This museum has a wonderful ambiance—even during the high summer with its heat waves and crowds.  African Art’s three subterranean levels under the Enid Haupt Garden provide a tranquil retreat with outstanding more »

A president’s pictorial life

In honor of President’s Day and George Washington’s birthday, we’re featuring the Pictorial life of George Washington. Although published in 1848, it’s available today in its entirety in our Digital Library. This illustrated biography traces Washington’s life from birth through his first years as president. The engravings depict many of Washington’s heroic moments in battle, in addition to his early childhood and family life.

Dolphins and True Love: An Ode to Frederick W. True

The Smithsonian Field Book Project is showcasing Frederick William True in February. This post is part of a series of blogs and social media content from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, Pyenson Lab, Smithsonian Transcription Center,and Smithsonian Institution Archives, celebrating #FWTrueLove.The campaign will include a fascinating new transcription project and exciting behind-the-scenes opportunities! Learn more on the Field Books Project blog.

Boethius Manuscript Added to Transcription Center

The Smithsonian Libraries has been contributing manuscripts from our collections to the Smithsonian Transcription Center for digital volunteers (or Volunpeers) to transcribe for over a year now. We’ve featured a variety of materials, from a vocabulary of the Potawatomi language, to shipboard diaries, to natural history field books and aeronautical scrapbooks. These works have all been quickly and enthusiastically transcribed, and now we’re offering up a much more challenging item, sure to more »

The write stuff for National Handwriting Day

It’s National Handwriting Day! The Smithsonian Field Book Project, a joint initiative between the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and National Museum of Natural History to uncover, catalog, digitize, and share online the primary source records of scientific research done at, by, and for the Institution, celebrates this day with a showcase of some of the handwriting samples encountered during the project work. The Project works with materials stretching back almost 200 more »

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.

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