Viewing the Universe from the Dibner Library

-+*The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology was created from a gift by Bern Dibner, electrical engineer, inventor, collector, and science historian. At the heart of this collection are Dibner’s “Heralds of Science” ,  200 seminal works that Dibner himself believed marked significant scientific advancement in their respective fields. One area that is particularly fascinating is the astronomy section.

“’Tis A Gift To Be Simple” But to Have a Splendid Garden Buy Shaker Seeds

-+*In honor of Earth Day and National Garden Month, we take a look at one of the lesser known influences in the seed and garden business – the Shaker community.

Science Executive Committee in Panama

-+*On March 22-29, I traveled to Panama and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) with members of the Smithsonian’s Science Executive Committee. This is the science unit directors group who meet with the interim Undersecretary for Science each month. Others on the trip were Scott Miller, the Office of the Undersecretary for Science (OUSS) staff, Cynthia Brandt Stover, Smithsonian Campaign Director and Jenny McWilliams, Science Advancement Officer. Oh yes, and Stacy Cavanaugh’s more »

A Typical Case of Repair Work

-+*Many books within the various general collections of the Smithsonian Libraries arrive at the Book Conservation Lab in need of similar treatment. Though the several collections in the Natural History Museum Libraries are largely filled with science related items, some reveal aspects of the natural world through artistic and literary presentations. Recently, a book of this type, entitled The Poetry of Nature, selected and illustrated by Harrison Weir and published in 1868, more »

Garden Stories Twitterchat with the Biodiversity Heritage Library

-+*“Garden Stories” is a week long social media event for garden lovers from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The campaign will explore the fascinating world of gardening, from the rise of agriculture to the home garden and the mail order gardening phenomenon. Celebrating the history, science, and art of gardening, content will be published via the BHL Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest, with additional posts through the Smithsonian Libraries’ Tumblr.

Adopt Ocean Gardens

-+*Here’s your chance to adopt Ocean Gardens: The History of the Marine Aquarium (London, 1857) by Henry Noel Humphreys! Humphreys, an illustrator, entomologist, and scholar of medieval manuscripts, wrote this little volume on the history of the marine aquarium, which includes advice on creating and maintaining one, and detailed information on which varieties of plants and animals to choose. When this book was written, modern in-home aquariums were still a very recent more »

Celebrating floral design in the Botany-Horticulture Library

-+*This post was written by Robin Everly, Botany-Horticulture Library. Did you know that Saturday, February 28 is Floral Design Day and the day itself has been around for 20 years? The day was created to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, who founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, Massachusetts and was a leader in floral art education.  Fittingly, it was enacted by official proclamation by then Governor William more »

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