A Nineteenth Century Adventure

Are you dreaming of warmer weather? Thinking of summer vacation? Well, imagine living in the year 1897 and the time has come to choose your next vacation. Will it be a summer resort in the US or a trip across the Atlantic?

Dispatches from the Ramsey Room: Notes from a Rocket Man

The Robert H. Goddard Papers and the Smithsonian Over a decade before Wernher von Braun and his colleagues jumpstarted the space age with the V-2 (or A-4) rocket, Robert H. Goddard was conducting experiments in the New Mexican desert on rockets powered by liquid fuel. After years of testing, the financially-strapped professor from Princeton appealed to the Smithsonian Institution for support to continue his experiments.

African American Artists and the Hudson River School

Recently, you may have heard  about the ways art from the Hudson River School has been a source of inspiration for new artistic works. Well, the luminous landscape paintings have inspired us, too. In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to highlight a couple of African American artists with ties the school. These artists have paintings in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection as well as an Art and Artist Files more »

Ein wunderbarer Duft von Farben (a wonderful bouquet of colors)

Striking early 20th-century color photographs from the African colonies of the German Empire

Striking early 20th-century color photographs from the African colonies of the German Empire In the summer of 2014, I worked on a library cataloging and itemization project at the National Museum of African Art in the Warren M. Robbins Library.  This museum has a wonderful ambiance—even during the high summer with its heat waves and crowds.  African Art’s three subterranean levels under the Enid Haupt Garden provide a tranquil retreat with outstanding more »

Tricks and Puzzles from the Trade Literature Collection

The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes catalogs of almost any product, but did you know there is even a catalog with games and puzzles to play at a dinner party?

A president’s pictorial life

In honor of President’s Day and George Washington’s birthday, we’re featuring the Pictorial life of George Washington. Although published in 1848, it’s available today in its entirety in our Digital Library. This illustrated biography traces Washington’s life from birth through his first years as president. The engravings depict many of Washington’s heroic moments in battle, in addition to his early childhood and family life.

Boethius Manuscript Added to Transcription Center

The Smithsonian Libraries has been contributing manuscripts from our collections to the Smithsonian Transcription Center for digital volunteers (or Volunpeers) to transcribe for over a year now. We’ve featured a variety of materials, from a vocabulary of the Potawatomi language, to shipboard diaries, to natural history field books and aeronautical scrapbooks. These works have all been quickly and enthusiastically transcribed, and now we’re offering up a much more challenging item, sure to more »

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