Amaryllis for Christmas

All I want for Christmas (really) is an amaryllis in full bloom. It is lovely to see poinsettias, beautiful products of the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse in Suitland, Maryland, placed about the museums, but there is something special about the amaryllis as a seasonal plant. Poinsettias have become too traditional, too expected, too (well) durable.

Brilliant Watercolors Light Up the Dibner Library

This post is submitted by Lilla Vekerdy, Head, Special Collections. The Dibner Library of the History of the Science and Technology has acquired a nineteenth-century manuscript with artistically and scientifically outstanding watercolor illustrations.

Discover and Connect but Don’t Steal this Book!

This post was written by Julia Blakely, Special Collections cataloger. It first appeared on the Smithsonian Collections blog here. Discovering an interesting mark of a former owner in a volume is one of the many great things about working with rare books. A signature of a famous person, a fun drawing, a gift presentation, marginal annotations revealing a reader’s thoughts, a memento laid-in, are not uncommon to come upon. Such additions after more »

Adopt a book this Black Friday!

Black Friday is upon us! The day American retailers look forward to all year long, expecting a surge in purchases as customers prepare for holiday gift-giving. But if you’re not interested in braving the crowded shopping malls (in fact, we hope you’re reading this in a comfy chair with a plate of leftovers!), consider gifting your loved ones with something you can purchase from home and that benefits generations to come. Take more »

Research Opportunities 2015-2016

The Smithsonian Libraries, situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. The Libraries offers exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. We are happy to offer the following fellowship opportunities for 2015-2016.

Adopt Exploration scientifique de l’Algérie

This is your chance to adopt Exploration scientifique de l’Algérie (1846-49) by Hippolyte Lucas! Conceived and directed by the naturalist Bory de Saint Vincent, one of the first modern, systematic biological surveys of northern Africa was undertaken by the French government in the early 1840s and resulted in a multi-volume series of scientific publications under the title of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie. The botanical and zoological volumes of this important expedition more »

Lepidochromy: Butterfly Transfer Prints

In honor of Halloween and the very last day of Archives Month, we present you with this creepy cool look at an unusual printing example in our collection, one that uses the wings of real butterflies. This post was written by Daria Wingreen-Mason, Special Collections Technical Information Specialist in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History.

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