Wonder Woman is Suiting Up for a Showdown!

July 28, 2014

 Who flies an invisible plane, boasts equal parts strength and style, and says “SMITHSONIAN” like no other? Here’s a hint: it’s not Bao Bao the panda. If you guessed Wonder Woman, then you’re one step closer to helping us win the Smithsonian Summer Showdown and walking away with a prize of your own!

Jeremy Deller’s Artists’ Book “After the Gold Rush”

July 23, 2014

Jeremy Deller (British, 1966-) has been known for his art work that pulls his audience into actively discussing and confronting political, social, and historical issues. His video work English Magic (2012), on view now until August 2014 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is an example of this dynamic. The film was selected for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale as the film served as a representation of British more »

Surf’s Up in Rare Books

July 2, 2014

While cataloging Polynesian Researches during a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands (London: 1831-1833; DU510 .E47 1831 SCNHRB), a transfer from the Department of State’s library to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, I was intrigued by the title page vignette in the fourth volume of the set. Depicted in this little engraved scene is a group of surfers riding a break on narrow more »

Gale launches new Smithsonian products

June 30, 2014

This past week at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, launched two new products based on Smithsonian collections. The products, Trade Literature & the Merchandizing of Industry and World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow, featured many items from the Smithsonian Libraries.

Fashion for Hair – A creepiness I like

June 25, 2014

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library owns many types of pattern books for architecture, textiles, wall coverings, and ornament for use by designers. Among our more unusual “how to” pattern books and trade catalogs are two recently digitized hair jewelry pattern books – The jewellers’ book of patterns in hair work and Charles T. Menge’s price list of ornamental hair jewelry and device work.

Meet Cooper-Hewitt Library Intern Alana Jiwa

June 12, 2014

Earlier this year, the Cooper-Hewitt Library was awarded a Smithsonian CCPF 2014 (Collections Care and Preservation Fund) grant to continue the conservation work we started based on a CCPF funded condition survey of our Special Collections in 2010. This summer, Library intern Alana Jiwa is focusing on custom enclosures for our rare folio sized materials. She is measuring books, using a new custom made folio sized book measurer made by Don Stankavage more »

Spotlight: Elements of the philosophy of plants (Edinburgh, 1821)

May 7, 2014

Elements of the philosophy of plants by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle and Kurt Sprengel is the first edition in English of a composite work by two of the most eminent botanists of the early 19th century. The first three parts on nomenclature, theory of classification, and descriptive botany are from a work by de Candolle, while the final part on the structure and nature of plants is by Sprengel. This book was recently adopted more »

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