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.
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 »
While cataloging Polynesian Researches during a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands (London: 1831-1833; DU510 .E47 1831 SCNHRB), a transfer from the Department of State’s library to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, I was intrigued by the title page vignette in the fourth volume of the set. Depicted in this little engraved scene is a group of surfers riding a break on narrow more »
The Smithsonian Libraries announces Polly Khater as the Assistant Director for Discovery Services. Khater has served as Discovery Services Manager since 2011, and was the Serials Cataloging Coordinator from 2008 to 2011. In her new position, Khater will direct and coordinate the efforts of the Discovery Services Division. She will provide oversight and support for resource acquisitions and work with her staff to provide access to the Libraries’ rich and unique collections more »
Not to brag, but we’ve got a pretty cool new research tool to show off: OneSearch.
This post was contributed by Michael O’Connor, contract cataloger. Directly across the street from DC’s Union Station is the spectacular 1914 neoclassical structure that houses the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum (NPM). Since July of 2013 I have worked as a project cataloger on NPM Library’s Small Journals Project, an effort to catalog thousands of rare periodicals from the 1800s to the present.
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 »