Fantastic Worlds of the Natural Philosopher

The term “Natural Philosopher” was common in the early 19th century for someone who studied nature and the physical universe. It was not until the mid-19th century onward that the term scientist becoming more popular. Natural philosophers often pursued a wide variety of both scientific and artistic interests and offer a colorful glimpse into the world they inhabited.

Color with us on National Coloring Book Day!

Sharpen your colored pencils! Tomorrow, August 2nd , is National Coloring Book Day! To celebrate, we’ve put together a second set of coloring pages based on images in our collection. The booklet, which features 11 pages of pretty pictures begging to be colored, is available as a downloadable pdf file (10 MB) on our webpage here. Shade in a few sea shells, diatom cells or fancy French fashion plates. Share your creations more »

Upcoming Events in August

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to host a full roster of events in the Washington DC area in the month of August. Topics include South African artists’ books, early natural history collections and more! All are tied to our current exhibitions: Artists’ Books and Africa, Color in a New Light and Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910. Click on the links in the event titles for additional details and RSVP information.

Inspiring Discovery at the 2016 BioBlitz and Biodiversity Festival in Washington, D.C.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and Smithsonian Libraries staff participated in BioBlitz 2016 in Washington, D.C. on 20-21 May. A BioBlitz focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. In this special edition of the BioBlitz, held in conjunction with the National Park Service’s centenary, the D.C. BioBlitz was accompanied by a two-day Biodiversity Festival on the National Mall at more »

Harrison Dyar: Personal meets Professional

From May 13-20th, the Smithsonian Libraries is participating in the #DigIntoDyar campaign – encouraging the public to transcribe the field books of this remarkable entomologist in the Smithsonian Transcription Center and to learn more about his life and work. This post was written by Marc Epstein, Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History and author of Moths, Myths and Mosquitos:The Eccentric Life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr.. You can read more »

Harrison Dyar: Lepidoptera and Blue Books

From May 13-20th, the Smithsonian Libraries is participating in the #DigIntoDyar campaign – encouraging the public to transcribe the field books of this remarkable entomologist in the Smithsonian Transcription Center and to learn more about his life and work. This post was written by Marc Epstein, Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History and author of Moths, Myths and Mosquitos:The Eccentric Life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr.. On May 17th, more »

#DigIntoDyar: Discover the secrets of Harrison Dyar

Important entomological work.  The Bahá’í faith. Secret tunnels under Washington, DC. What do all of these elements have in common? Curiously, Smithsonian scientist Harrison Gray Dyar, Jr..

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