Brilliant Watercolors Light Up the Dibner Library

This post is submitted by Lilla Vekerdy, Head, Special Collections. The Dibner Library of the History of the Science and Technology has acquired a nineteenth-century manuscript with artistically and scientifically outstanding watercolor illustrations.

Discover and Connect but Don’t Steal this Book!

This post was written by Julia Blakely, Special Collections cataloger. It first appeared on the Smithsonian Collections blog here. Discovering an interesting mark of a former owner in a volume is one of the many great things about working with rare books. A signature of a famous person, a fun drawing, a gift presentation, marginal annotations revealing a reader’s thoughts, a memento laid-in, are not uncommon to come upon. Such additions after more »

Alchemy on the Cutting Edge: Theoretical Innovations and the Pursuit of Transmutation

Join us on Thursday, December 11, 2014 for a free lecture featuring Lawrence M. Principe, Drew Professor of the Humanities, Department of the History of Science and Technology, John Hopkins University.

Adopt a book this Black Friday!

Black Friday is upon us! The day American retailers look forward to all year long, expecting a surge in purchases as customers prepare for holiday gift-giving. But if you’re not interested in braving the crowded shopping malls (in fact, we hope you’re reading this in a comfy chair with a plate of leftovers!), consider gifting your loved ones with something you can purchase from home and that benefits generations to come. Take more »

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 »

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 »

Cooking the Majestic Way

Thanksgiving is almost here. That means getting together with family and friends and, of course, lots of great food. Here is a catalog from the Trade Literature Collection that might get you in the cooking or baking mood. Or maybe the recipes will just make you hungry.

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