A Dream Realized: The National Museum of African American History & Culture Library

February 28, 2014

Shauna Collier, Librarian for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, contributed this post. Late last year my dream of becoming the librarian for the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) came true, and a month ago I returned to the Smithsonian Libraries (I worked here years ago as the Anacostia Librarian).  After receiving the warmest welcome from my library and museum colleagues, I started receiving the more »

Weeding the Z’s

September 13, 2013

 The following post was written by American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library intern Becca Tanen. She is currently in her second year of a dual master’s program in Library Science and English at Catholic University. Two years ago, I was working at the library of a K-12 private school in Maryland when one of the librarians handed me the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) manual for weeding modern libraries, developed by the more »

Downtown Progress, 1960-1977

August 16, 2013

  This post was contributed by Kaitlyn Tanis, intern at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library. Walking around downtown Washington, D.C. (located between the Capitol and the White House) is always a sight to behold. Between the grand marble buildings, the throngs of tourists, museums, and the vast number of restaurants, downtown D.C. represents the diversity and beauty of the city. However, the area was not always a thriving tourist destination.  Pre- more »

Defaced Donation Leads to Exhibition Exploration

July 31, 2013

This is a post written by Rita O’Hara who works at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library. In February, Richard Koshalek, the Hirshhorn Museum director donated to the library a copy of The World Bank exhibition catalog entitled Imagining Our Future Together: South Asia Artists. The exhibit featured the winners of a regional art competition organized by the World Bank’s South Asia vice presidency and the World Bank Art Program. This more »

Tumblr: A slightly irreverent look at the Libraries collections

July 29, 2013

If you’ve spent any time deep in the heart of libraryland, then you surely have encountered ephemera, marginalia, stunningly beautiful bookplates, funny advertisements, and other semi-random stuff in the stacks that yearned to be shared, so we’re doing just that through the microblogging platform Tumblr.

Leap of Faith: Robert Cocking’s Parachute Experiment of July 24, 1837

July 24, 2013

To take a leap of faith is to jump without knowing how one will land, either physically or metaphorically. For some, purposefully jumping from a plane and placing full faith in the parachute strapped to one’s back would constitute such a leap. Imagine the level of faith involved when jumping from a balloon when the technology of the parachute had yet to be perfected and often animals were sent in lieu of more »

The Fix – Edward Jenner’s Cure for Smallpox

July 17, 2013

When a book that had the impact of Edward Jenner’s An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae comes into the conservation lab we get fairly excited. This 1798 first edition, part of the Dibner Library, outlines the technique of infecting patients with the mild cowpox virus to create immunity from the highly contagious and often deadly smallpox virus. As a result of his findings Jenner is considered the father of immunology more »

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