The Fantastic Worlds of Jules Verne

Widely considered to be the father of science fiction, Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in the French seaport town of Nantes. Despite his father wanting him to follow in his footsteps as a lawyer, Verne dreamt of an adventurous life at sea and even secretly procured a spot as a cabin boy. As the legend goes, Verne’s plan was discovered by his father before the ship could set sail more »

Art and Artist Files Reveal Surrealist Jewels Designed by Salvador Dalí

The brilliant sparkle of a diamond, the saturated blood-red of a ruby, and the rich deep blue of a sapphire become the building blocks of one of Salvador Dalí’s lesser known artistic enterprises: jewelry design. The renowned Catalonian artist, most famous for his mind-bending Surrealist paintings of dream worlds and for his eccentricity as a self-proclaimed “genius,” began to design his jewelry collection in 1941 and continued the artistic project until 1970.

Lindbergh’s legacy at the Smithsonian Libraries

Charles Lindbergh, born on February 4th, 1902, made history in his aviation career as the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic.  “Lucky Lindy” soon became an American icon – flying his Spirit of St. Louis to all fifty states to promote air travel and advising airlines.  The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Library is the proud home to many unique items that represent Lindbergh’s legacy, both in aviation and more »

The trials and tribulations of post binding repair

The Book Conservation Lab often receives items that require new sewing or new adhesive on the text block as part of their treatment. Infrequently, an item arrives that has been bound atypically and extraordinary repair measures are needed.

A Winter Trip via the Railway

Now that it’s cold outside, this is the perfect time to think of warmer temperatures and perhaps a vacation. The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes a lot of railway-related catalogs but not all of them are about equipment and supplies. Some are directed towards the tourist, like this nineteenth century catalog by Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Indian River Railway.

Dr. G. Zander’s Medico-mechanical Gymnastics

No doubt some of you are among the many hardened souls intent upon making this year the year you finally get in shape. And as you resolve to hit the gym, I’d like to shift your attention momentarily to something most of us don’t ponder—the history of the humble exercise machine.

Discovering Hidden Treasures at the National Postal Museum Library

While working at the National Postal Museum (NPM) Library, we often stumble upon treasures that are waiting to be discovered. We find them in boxes of donations, tucked away on a shelf, behind cabinets, and underneath metal file drawers, but sometimes they are hidden in plain sight.

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