“Color in a New Light” puzzle now available

On view in the National Museum of Natural History until March 2017, the exhibition Color in a New Light explores the theme of color through Smithsonian Libraries collections. Now you can take some vibrant color home with the Color in a New Light puzzle, produced with the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and manufactured by Galison.

The Fix: Crafting brilliant book cradles

Book supports or, more aptly named, cradles are used to display bound library materials in exhibitions. The Smithsonian Libraries plans and installs two exhibitions each year that include as many as a hundred volumes on display at a given time. Since books come in various sizes shapes and materials, a proper support is necessary to assure that the book rests comfortably while on exhibit yet have the cradle remain somewhat invisible.

Unearthing History: Mary Anning’s Hunt for Prehistoric Ocean Giants

This post was written by L.K. Ward and was originally published on the Oceans Portal blog on March 21st, 2016. You may not have realized it, but you’ve been acquainted with Mary Anning since you were young. “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.” Remember this grade school tongue-twister? What you probably didn’t know is that this nursery rhyme is based on a real person who not only sold seaside curiosities more »

Sophie Blanchard: Pioneer Aeronaut

This March, in honor of Women’s History Month we’re highlighting notable women who are represented in our collections. Sophie Blanchard was the first professional female aeronaut in history. Born March 25, 1778 near La Rochelle, France, Sophie was initiated into ballooning by her husband Jean-Pierre-François Blanchard, himself a pioneer in ballooning. Jean-Pierre along with his co-aeronaut Dr. John Jeffries, were the first to cross the English Channel by balloon in 1785.

Experiencing “The Ultimate Safari”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a book written and illustrated by female artists, The Ultimate Safari. The book is currently featured in our exhibition, Artists’ Books and Africa, which is open until September 2016 and is located in the National Museum of African Art. The short story “The Ultimate Safari,” by Nadine Gordimer, was originally published in 1991 in Jump and Other Short Stories (London: Bloomsbury).[1]  This new edition of more »

Ian Cheng: Live Simulation

This post was written by Tim Cannon, intern in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library. Suspended Animation, which opened on February 10 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, features work by six contemporary artists working with digitally generated images. Among these artists is Ian Cheng, a New York-based artist who worked for George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, before earning an MFA at Columbia University. His work more »

“Explore the Four” for Museum Day Live! 2016

Join the Smithsonian Libraries and the wider Smithsonian community as we explore careers in museums, libraries and research through Museum Day Live! 2016. Special events and opportunities will be held throughout the Smithsonian on March 12, 2016, as well as nation-wide through participating institutions. According to the Museum Day Live! website, “held during Women’s History Month, this “special edition” of  “Museum Day Live!” will encourage all people, and particularly women and girls more »

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