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 »

Dispatches from the Ramsey Room: Notes from a Rocket Man

The Robert H. Goddard Papers and the Smithsonian Over a decade before Wernher von Braun and his colleagues jumpstarted the space age with the V-2 (or A-4) rocket, Robert H. Goddard was conducting experiments in the New Mexican desert on rockets powered by liquid fuel. After years of testing, the financially-strapped professor from Princeton appealed to the Smithsonian Institution for support to continue his experiments.

A Book for your Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is a mere 24 hours away. Still in need of a gift for your sweetheart?  Consider celebrating that someone special by adopting a book in their honor or memory. Every adoption includes a physical and online bookplate. Gifts go toward acquiring and conserving our rare books, so you leave a legacy of love for generations to come.

Dolphins and True Love: An Ode to Frederick W. True

The Smithsonian Field Book Project is showcasing Frederick William True in February. This post is part of a series of blogs and social media content from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, Pyenson Lab, Smithsonian Transcription Center,and Smithsonian Institution Archives, celebrating #FWTrueLove.The campaign will include a fascinating new transcription project and exciting behind-the-scenes opportunities! Learn more on the Field Books Project blog.

The Smithsonian Libraries Artists’ Books Collection Online

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the new webpage of the Smithsonian Libraries Artists’ Books Collection!

Books as Art?

This post was written by Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections. Recently, a class of book art- and art history students visited the Dibner Library of Science and Technology. Their professor, Kenneth Smith organized this “field trip” for his graduate course “The History of the Western Book” at the Corcoran Museum/George Washington University. The staff of the Dibner prepared a rare book display based on Professor Smith’s selection list, adding items in more »

Boethius Manuscript Added to Transcription Center

The Smithsonian Libraries has been contributing manuscripts from our collections to the Smithsonian Transcription Center for digital volunteers (or Volunpeers) to transcribe for over a year now. We’ve featured a variety of materials, from a vocabulary of the Potawatomi language, to shipboard diaries, to natural history field books and aeronautical scrapbooks. These works have all been quickly and enthusiastically transcribed, and now we’re offering up a much more challenging item, sure to more »

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