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.

Vauban’s Treatise on Seiges added to Transcription Center

Sébastien Vauban (1633-1707) was the premier military engineer of his age and revolutionized siege warfare. Vauban was a Marshal of France as well as a Marquis. He is best known for his engineering and theoretical approach to fortifications, both on the design and attack fronts. One of his fascinating manuscripts on the fortification of cities was recently uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center where you can help uncover its secrets.  

Ephemeral Thoughts during the Waning Days of Summer

This post was written by rare books cataloger Julia Blakely. It originally appeared on the Smithsonian Collections Blog. The spectacular display of the capital cherry trees of this year is but a happy, distant memory and the gardens of Washington have that hot, exhausted look of August, escaping into a rare gardening book is in order. The Cullman Library has a survivor of an ephemeral form of publication—nursery trade catalogs—that are valuable not more »

Labor Day

We hope you get a break from punching the clock and a chance to enjoy your time off, American workers! If you are looking for a little holiday reading, perhaps reflect on the origins of the day with this blog post from last year.  

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