We have the perfect activity to help you burn off some of tomorrow’s turkey dinner! Exercise your finger muscles by helping us transcribe the Scrapbook of Early Aeronatica! Collected by William Upcott, this first volume contains correspondence, clippings, ephemera, articles and illustrations, which cover early experiments, adventures and inventions in aeronautics starting with the Montgolfier brothers.
Through the generosity of a donor (who is also on the staff of the Smithsonian Libraries!), the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG Library) is pleased to announce a new addition to its artists’ book collection: Cumulus by Thomas Parker Williams.
The Smithsonian Women’s Committee granted the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library an award in 2012-13 for the preservation and re-housing of two important and rare embroidery and lace manuals dating from the early 17th and late 18th century. Due to their poor and fragile condition, they could not be handled and would have continued to deteriorate if left untreated.
From the outside “A Samoan Dictionary” looks fairly innocuous, but inside lies horror that would strike fear in the heart of any conservator (or book lover). The cover looks like an after thought – a simple piece of vellum with a handwritten title. Upon closer inspection it is evident that the cover is a recycled piece of vellum. The faint images of rows of typed numbers are visible to the naked eye. more »
Imagine that you’re a newly-minted American diplomat in 1954, posted to the official U.S. consular residence in the coastal city of Nice, France, where you’ve been sent to brush up on your French language skills. The consulate, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, is located in an elegant old building known as the Villa Warden, after the former owner of the property, Standard Oil executive John B. Warden. Your envious colleagues back in Washington tease more »
This fashion plate from Les Robes De Paul Poiret (1908) is one of eleven illustrations, all recently scanned and now available for your viewing pleasure. Poiret is often credited with liberating women from the body constricting corsets popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837-1910).
On August 31, 1835, what came to be known as The Great Moon Hoax took its final bow in the Sun newspaper. During the following weeks, the story would be largely revealed as a hoax, but was still running wild as a story just the same. Other than discovering animal life and man-bats on the Moon, the other truly odd part of the hoax was that it was no hoax at all, more »