Morale: the Navy’s Trans-Atlantic flight

May 26, 2014

In honor of Memorial Day, we feature this recently digitized book, Morale: the Navy’s Trans-Atlantic flight.

A Squirrel’s Life

May 12, 2014

It’s springtime in DC. That means squirrels are everywhere on the National Mall. Take a walk around the Mall and you are bound to see a squirrel or two run across your path. Sit on a bench for a few minutes and you might hear a rummaging sound and then see a squirrel pop up out of a trash can. And you are sure to see a squirrel or two getting their more »

Philatelic literature at the National Postal Museum Library

May 9, 2014

This post was contributed by Michael O’Connor, contract cataloger. Directly across the street from DC’s Union Station is the spectacular 1914 neoclassical structure that houses the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum (NPM).  Since July of 2013 I have worked as a project cataloger on NPM Library’s Small Journals Project, an effort to catalog thousands of rare periodicals from the 1800s to the present.

1964: Fountains, Fireworks, Fifty Years Ago – a World’s Fair

April 21, 2014

  The Cooper-Hewitt Library has a large collection of over 2,000 World’s fair catalogues and books. Many are the official guidebooks that visitors could purchase with descriptions of pavilions and that helped locate sights and other points of interest. As a teenager, my mother had loved the 1939 World’s fair, so that when it came to New York City again in 1964-65, she wanted to see another World’s fair and have us more »

Eyeglasses and Spectacles of the Past

April 14, 2014

Many of us who wear glasses everyday will probably find ourselves relating to these two sentences. “But take the subject all in all, and consider it in all its phases, it cannot be denied that the invention of spectacles was one of the most useful to the human family.” “Many a man and woman to-day in all quarters of the known world owes the pleasure of existence to the use of scientifically more »

White Bronze for the hereafter

April 4, 2014

This Catalogue of the Monumental Bronze Co. is one of the many examples of trade literature that the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library has in its collection; they are among the most valuable research resources for documenting the tastes and trends of culture, and the products being marketed and sold in a given time period. These are Victorian era zinc sculpture and ornaments for cemetery grave markers and “monuments”.  “White bronze” was an more »

Women in Research

March 31, 2014

As part of my duties in wrangling data for Smithsonian Research Online, I worked on a project to collect and ingest the historic legacy of published scholarship produced by Smithsonian researchers since the Institution’s inception in 1846. The main focus of my participation is cleaning and preparing the data, but I find it hard to resist not paying attention to its historic significance. I’ll admit occasionally getting lost thinking about what it more »

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