A Snake in the Library, or, the Mysterious Whereabouts of the Villa Warden, a Former United States Consulate in the French Riviera

October 30, 2013

Imagine that you’re a newly-minted American diplomat in 1954, posted to the official U.S. consular residence in the coastal city of Nice, France, where you’ve been sent to brush up on your French language skills. The consulate, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, is located in an elegant old building known as the Villa Warden, after the former owner of the property, Standard Oil executive John B. Warden.  Your envious colleagues back in Washington tease more »

The Bella C. Landauer Collection

Intrigued by the “Song of the Wright Brothers” sheet music cover seen in last week’s National Aviation Day post? Read on for more information about the collection in this post by summer intern, Karen Anton. I am Karen Anton, the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Sheet Music Cataloging intern for the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.  I travelled from Bloomington, IN where I am pursuing a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree with a Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship Specialization at the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science and a PhD in Musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. While at the Smithsonian this summer, I will be learning from Lowell Ashley, principal cataloger at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Planning for the NMAAHC branch library

When The President of the United States and the Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) break ground on February 22, 2012, it will be the beginning of a new adventure for Smithsonian Libraries.  Plans for the museum include locating the library in wonderful space on a public floor with direct public access.  Mary Augusta Thomas and Bill Baxter have been working with the staff of the NMAAHC space planning team, including representatives from the education department, the center for media arts and collections. We all enjoy the challenges of planning for a highly interactive information commons and a research library with a program that is only now being defined.  Our joint vision is for a place that visitors will come with questions raised by their time in the exhibitions.  These might be about objects in the collections, or the location of a museum or cultural center in their vicinity.

Featured Gifts and Exchange Partner: American Museum of Natural History

For many years, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries has had a publication exchange program with various organizations around the world. Our exchange partners are generally universities, academies of sciences and arts, museums, government entities, and societies. Through our agreements, we swap our material, primarily the  Smithsonian Contributions  (a series of monographs which are written on a variety of subjects like anthropology, botany, marine sciences, museum conservation, paleobiology, and zoology), in exchange for titles by other institutions. Each Smithsonian Contributions issue is published initially online, followed by a print version for those who prefer that. All published issues can be found at: www.sil.si.edu/SmithsonianContributions/.           One of our scientific journal exchanges has been with the American Museum of Natural History Library in New York City.  We have worked with them since 1951 or before, according to our correspondence files. In exchange for our Smithsonian Contributions series and various National Museum of Natural History departmental publications, we receive their American Museum Novitates and Bulletin of the A.M.N.H., in addition to more »

Art & Science: Twins Separated at Birth?

As an art librarian, I was expecting to feel a little like a fish out of water at the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s (BHL) Life and Literature conference held at the Field Museum in Chicago.  However, the intrinsic relationship between Art and Science was a recurring theme explored by over 120 attendees from across the globe who gathered to focus on the future of BHL. Naturgeschichte in Bildern : mit erläuterndem Text / Von Professor Dr. Strack. Lief. 4. (Heft 33-56). Fische.Düsseldorf :Arnz & Co.,[1819-1826]biodiversitylibrary.org/item/37422 Having scanned over 35 million pages (and counting) of scientific texts documenting life on earth, BHL is transforming how scientists do research.  Within these millions of pages are thousands of illustrations, which served as scientific documentation before the invention of photography.  Paging through these texts, it becomes clear that Art and Science have been inseparable from the beginning, each informing the other as they developed.  Serving as evidence, we find many rare botanical and zoological texts in art libraries, collected for artists and designers who look more »

New and Notable in November

We’re testing out a new way of displaying our “New & Notable” books by combining them in to one post per month. Also, above the book listings, you’ll see a slideshow with links to the WorldCat records for each book. If you are not a user of our physical collection, WorldCat will help you find a copy of the book in a library near you. If you enjoy our “New & Notable” section, we would love to hear your comments below.     From the National Museum of American History Library: Underwear : fashion in detail / / Eleri Lynn ; photographs by Richard Davis ; drawings by Leonie Davis. V&A, c2010. GT2073 .L96 2010 NMAH COSTUME Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America / / Richard White. W.W. Norton & Co., c2011. HE2751 W55 2011 Troubled experiment : crime and justice in Pennsylvania, 1682-1800 / / Jack D. Marietta and G.S. Rowe. University of Pennsylvania Press, c2006. HV6793.P4 M37 2006 The American style : Colonial revival more »

Increased Access for History, Art, and Culture Digitizations — New URLS!

If you’ve seen any of the 1,000+ physical copies of the books scanned through the History, Art, and Culture (HAC) Digitization Project, maybe you noticed a sticker just below the barcode that reads ”ONLINE.”

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