Fantastic Worlds: The Making Of

-+*Join Smithsonian Libraries on a journey to Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 a new exhibition opening to the public July 1, 2015 in the Smithsonian Libraries Gallery in the newly renovated wing of the National Museum of American History. Click here for a preview.  

“Priority!” awarded Thackray Medal

-+*A recent book to which Leslie Overstreet, the Smithsonian Libraries curator of natural-history rare books, contributed has been awarded the John Thackray Medal by the Society for the History of Natural History for “significant achievements in the history and bibliography of natural history.”

Adopt “Souvenir views of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition”

-+*2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco, between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km2) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now more »

Computers and Washington

-+*Last fall, I marked the season for the harvesting of grapes to honor John Adlum, the little-known “Father of American Viticulture.” The origins of the first commercially viable vine in the American wine industry can be traced to the District of Columbia. Now, with the great interest in Alan Turing, the recent auction sale of this English mathematician’s 56-page notebook for more than a million dollars, and the success of the movie, more »

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.

A Different kind of Goldrush

-+*Gold rush : a multi-page serigraph  by Jill Timm. Wenatchee, WA : Mystical Places Press, 2013.  This intriguing title Gold Rush, represents three of the Cooper-Hewitt Library’s special collecting interests all in one book. We have a large collection of over 2,000 pop-up and movable books, ranging from the 15th century through the present day; also a collection of artist’s books with movable parts, and a large variety of books and periodicals  that more »

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 »

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