Up for Adoption: Der Weltkrieg

September 17, 2014

This cigarette card collector’s book was produced and compiled in Germany in the late 1930′s as a commemoration of World War I, providing a visual record of scenes both on the front and at home. The war theme was popular in the 1930s and was later used for propaganda purposes during the growth of Nazism.

Vauban’s Treatise on Seiges added to Transcription Center

September 5, 2014

Sébastien Vauban (1633-1707) was the premier military engineer of his age and revolutionized siege warfare. Vauban was a Marshal of France as well as a Marquis. He is best known for his engineering and theoretical approach to fortifications, both on the design and attack fronts. One of his fascinating manuscripts on the fortification of cities was recently uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center where you can help uncover its secrets.  

Ephemeral Thoughts during the Waning Days of Summer

September 3, 2014

This post was written by rare books cataloger Julia Blakely. It originally appeared on the Smithsonian Collections Blog. The spectacular display of the capital cherry trees of this year is but a happy, distant memory and the gardens of Washington have that hot, exhausted look of August, escaping into a rare gardening book is in order. The Cullman Library has a survivor of an ephemeral form of publication—nursery trade catalogs—that are valuable not more »

Once There Were Billions: 100 Year Anniversary of the death Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon

August 28, 2014

This post is written by Helen James, Curator-in-Charge, Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History. Ask Helen a question during our Twitterchat on Tuesday, September 2nd! Martha, the last passenger pigeon, is back on public display for the first time since 1999, this time in an exhibition titled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America that opened in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery of the National Museum of Natural more »

Mary Smith’s Commonplace book of science and mathematics added to Transcription Center

August 6, 2014

Mary Smith’s Commonplace book concerning science and mathematics  is a remarkable manuscript for several reasons. 1) It contains a wide breadth of information on the sciences of the mid to late 18th century 2) Mary Smith collected and compiled the information at a time when women were still not widely educated.

Wonder Woman needs your help!

August 4, 2014

Wonder Woman is the Number One female superhero of all time, so it only makes sense that she wins our Smithsonian Summer Showdown.  She’s currently in 4th place, but only the only the top three make it to Round 2!

Adopt “Garden scene with dancers”

August 1, 2014

Garden scene with dancers (to be used as the set for a miniature theater) is a peep show (or tunnel book), designed by engraver and print-seller Martin Engelbrecht of Augsburg, Germany (1684-1756). The set includes six 6″ x 8″ hand-colored etched prints on light gray laid paper, with sections carefully cut out to create a perspective view when the prints are arranged in a viewing box.This early and rare example of a more »

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