This post was written by Kevin Barnard, summer intern in Discovery Services. Preserving the Libraries’ digital treasures is an ongoing challenge that sometimes needs an extra pair of hands to get things moving, especially when dealing with legacy digital assets.
This fashion plate from Les Robes De Paul Poiret (1908) is one of eleven illustrations, all recently scanned and now available for your viewing pleasure. Poiret is often credited with liberating women from the body constricting corsets popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837-1910).
With over 40 volumes detailing the intricacies of lace collection and creation, the Cultural Heritage Library’s Lace Collection covers a lot of ground. About half of the collection is in English, with titles like Directions for Making Poncetto Lace among the most popular. Downloaded 400 times since being digitized, this title offers instruction in the titular Italian knotted lace technique, complete with several patterns to follow.
The Cultural Heritage Library (CHL) covers a wide range of topics. Government publications, Smithsonian exhibition catalogs, travel guides, and geographic histories–the CHL aims to digitize everything from our history, art, and culture collections that we can. As such, the entire collection was currently published prior to 1923, so some of it can sound dated or naive to modern ears.
Inspired by the launch of the Digital Public Library of America, BBC News reporter Jane O’Brien wanted to get the scoop on physical libraries versus digital libraries. Watch her interview our Director Nancy Gwinn, who brought out a handwritten letter by Galileo at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22487289
Did you know our Digital Library now hosts the Cultural Heritage Library (CHL)? Some things remain the same. You can browse the collection’s subject headings or list of authors to discover the collection, or if you are looking for a particular art, history, or culture book published before 1923, use the search box.
With all of our talk about our new Whales exhibit, have we piqued your interest in whale research at the Smithsonian? We certainly hope so! Below, we’ve collected a few handy resources related to our marine mammal friends.