It’s Back to School in 1872

September 15, 2014

The new school year has begun. So we decided to search the Trade Literature Collection for catalogs showing school furniture or supplies. And we came across this Robert Paton catalog which shows the furniture students in 1872 might have seen on their first day of school.

Vauban’s Treatise on Seiges added to Transcription Center

September 5, 2014

Sébastien Vauban (1633-1707) was the premier military engineer of his age and revolutionized siege warfare. Vauban was a Marshal of France as well as a Marquis. He is best known for his engineering and theoretical approach to fortifications, both on the design and attack fronts. One of his fascinating manuscripts on the fortification of cities was recently uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center where you can help uncover its secrets.  

Ephemeral Thoughts during the Waning Days of Summer

September 3, 2014

This post was written by rare books cataloger Julia Blakely. It originally appeared on the Smithsonian Collections Blog. The spectacular display of the capital cherry trees of this year is but a happy, distant memory and the gardens of Washington have that hot, exhausted look of August, escaping into a rare gardening book is in order. The Cullman Library has a survivor of an ephemeral form of publication—nursery trade catalogs—that are valuable not more »

Labor Day

September 1, 2014

We hope you get a break from punching the clock and a chance to enjoy your time off, American workers! If you are looking for a little holiday reading, perhaps reflect on the origins of the day with this blog post from last year.  

“Pruning” at the National Museum of American History Library

August 18, 2014

This post was written by Jenn Parent, intern at the National Museum of American History Library. Jenn is a recent graduate from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA with a BS in Anthropology.  She will be relocating and attending graduate school at University of Washington-Seattle for a Master’s in Library Science this September. I spent this summer as a library intern at the National Museum of American History and I have thoroughly more »

Cut-To-Fit Homes

August 11, 2014

If you were looking for a new home in the summer of 1919, you might have considered a Sterling Cut-To-Fit Home. This 1919 International Mill & Timber Co. trade catalog, Selecting Your Home, describes the Sterling System Homes. These houses came in different styles and sizes–one story, two story, large, and small. The catalog includes page after page of illustrations, floor plans, and descriptions.

Wonder Woman is Suiting Up for a Showdown!

July 28, 2014

 Who flies an invisible plane, boasts equal parts strength and style, and says “SMITHSONIAN” like no other? Here’s a hint: it’s not Bao Bao the panda. If you guessed Wonder Woman, then you’re one step closer to helping us win the Smithsonian Summer Showdown and walking away with a prize of your own!

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