Spotlight on Native American Artists

Native Americans have had a tremendous impact in numerous arenas of American life. This is particularly true in the visual arts. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month we’re highlighting artists of American Indian descent who have had a significant presence in the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library’s collections.

A Watch Almanac Takes Us Back in Time

One of the fun things about working with the Trade Literature Collection is that you never know what you might come across. There are hundreds of thousands of catalogs in the collection. The catalogs cover many, many subjects–food, clothing, toys, machine tools, boilers, lighting, medical supplies, and much more. But every so often, one catalog in particular might catch your eye. This time, it was a trade catalog by National Elgin Watch more »

The Fix: Saving The Marine Atlas

When Smithsonian Libraries’ material is placed on exhibition, all selected objects are reviewed for display. In some cases, conservation treatment is required in order to make it possible for a book to be opened and pages turned without damaging the structure. Other factors such as conditions for temperature, relative humidity, and light levels in the exhibition gallery are reviewed before allowing items to be exhibited for any length of time. The Dibner more »

New “Fantastic Worlds” shirts available!

You have the opportunity to own an awesome piece of imagery from Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction 1780-1910 and support Smithsonian Libraries exhibition programming! Now until December 7th, you can order this limited edition graphic tee through TFund. It features signature imagery from the exhibition: a so-called “man bat” from Leopold Galluzzo’s Altre scoverte fatte nella luna dal Sigr. Herschel , 1836. Click here now to buy!  

National History Day resources and a Hackathon!

Each year, thousands of students from around the country participate in National History Day competitions. These contests challenge students to create exciting, well-researched projects that explore historic people and events. This year Smithsonian Libraries was invited to be a partner organization and help kick off National History Day’s opening webinar to celebrate this year’s theme Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History. We jumped at the opportunity to create a five minute video more »

The brief and entertaining history of the Second Army Air Service

The Second Army Air Service was a unit of the United States Army  stationed on the Western Front during World War I. The Second Army Air Service Book, from the collections of the National Air and Space Museum Library, offers a purposely light-hearted account of the unit’s brief history. The group’s arrival in France came a mere month before an armistice was signed ending the war on November 11th, 1918.  

Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Allan Poe: Science in Fiction

As a preeminent American literary figure, Edgar Allan Poe is widely known for his tales of horror and the macabre. Less well known about Poe is his place in literary history as inventor of detective fiction, his contributions to the emergence of science fiction, and as editor of a textbook on conchology (The conchologist’s first book). It is through his work as science fiction writer that Poe found his way into Fantastic more »

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