Mughal art for the masses

When I was a teenager, I spent countless afternoons gossiping and scheming with my best friend under the watchful eye of Mughal royalty. Her family’s collection of miniatures, stripped of their gilt borders and in many cases missing in-painting, still struck me as the most beautiful pieces in her parents’ massive collection of Indian art. Whenever I would sneak down the hall for midnight slumber party refrigerator raids, I would always stop more »

Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards

The Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards allow mid-career educators to be in residence and utilize the Smithsonian Libraries distinctive collections, focusing on science, history, culture and arts.  The awards are open to middle & high school teachers, college teachers, and museum educators working on curriculum development or publications in print or electronic form. The Library offers excellent resources for developing curricula relating to Common Core, Core Arts Standards, and Advanced Placement curricula.

Celebrate the Potato

September is National Potato Month. Almost all the potatoes grown in the United States are planted in the spring and gathered in the fall. It is the time of year that schools in northern Maine have “harvest break” when students work to dig and sort the season’s spud crop soon after summer vacation. Maine’s custom is one small part of the very long and interwoven agricultural, economic, social, culinary, medical, and ritual more »

Explore Emil Schimpf’s airships on National Aviation Day

Today, August 19th, marks National Aviation Day and we’re celebrating with a lesser-known flying vehicle — the airship. Emil Schimpf’s ballooning manuscript Vorläufige Instruction über Zusammensetzung Gebrauch des Luftschifferparks was recently added to the Smithsonian Transcription Center and is available for crowd-sourced transcription.

Small Stories from Small Countries

This post was written by Conal Huetter, recent MLS graduate from the University of Maryland and Smithsonian Libraries summer intern. Hay internship My internship was made possible by the bequest of the H.R. and E.J. Hay Charitable Trust, which was designed to support the research needs of countries with a population under one million people. With my fellow intern, Allegra Tennis (MLIS student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), this has involved identifying more »

No Wheat Chex, and other scientific issues of the 1960s

This is the first post in a two-part series. Lawrence N. Huber devoted several pages of his journal lamenting the fact that the Navy vessel he was aboard had run out of Wheat Chex.  This comes from a young man who was out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, banding thousands of often rather uncooperative birds, making observations of any type of fauna he came across in the Pacific Islands, and swimming in more »

Bond, James Bond: the Birds, the Books, the Bond

It is well-known that author Ian Fleming appropriated the name of his Secret Agent 007 from a book in his library, Birds of the West Indies by James Bond. The first to connect the two in print was an anonymous reviewer of a then-new edition of the title (1960) in the sober Sunday Times (London), of all places. That writer had fun and ran with it: “To show maybe that his life more »

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