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.

The Rollyn Osterweis Krichbaum Memorial Program Fund for the Public Understanding of African Art and Culture

Endowments allow the Libraries to invest in print collections to preserve our collective past. So much of what the Libraries offers cannot be found elsewhere and named endowments ensure a steady and growing stream of income to acquire and preserve treasures. This post is written by Ruth Osterweis Selig, Research Collaborator, National Museum of Natural History.

Spring 2015 Internships!

The Smithsonian Libraries is looking for a few great library school students (or recent grads!) to help us with some very interesting projects. These neat projects include:

Nineteenth Century Book Folders

We use books every day. But how is a book actually created? How are the pages folded? How are they cut? For a glimpse into making books in the late nineteenth century, take a look at this 1891-92 Dexter Folder Co. trade catalog titled Dexter Book Folding Machines.

It’s Back to School in 1872

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.

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