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.

A.W. Quilter journal added to Transcription Center

The travel journals of A.W. Quilter document his adventures in East Africa between 1909-1911, while on safari and engaging in big game hunting. These fascinating tales are now available in the Transcription Center for volunteers to read and review. While a great deal is still unknown about Quilter, for instance was he British or not, what is known from his journal was that he was a major in the military and embarked more »

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 more »

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 1, Re-building an Empire and Emancipating Slaves.

This post, one of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, volunteer at the National Museum of African Art. 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 of his travels is enshrined in a magisterial 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.

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