Behind the Scenes on the Smithsonian-Gale Project

March 3, 2014

Last year, the Smithsonian began a partnership with Gale, part of Cengage Learning, to digitize content, package it, and make it available through libraries around the world. Gale debuted the first of these products with digital versions of the Smithsonian magazine and Air & Space magazine’s archive. The Smithsonian Libraries is excited to be a part of the second group of products, Smithsonian Collections Online: World’s Fairs & Expositions: Visions Of Tomorrow more »

Smithsonian Libraries Announces 2014 Professional Development Internships

February 5, 2014

The Smithsonian Libraries will offer new, paid internships for the Professional Development Program in the summer of 2014. These internships are open to graduate students interested in working in research and museum libraries. The Libraries will award up to three paid summer internships this academic year.

The Fix – Post Binding

January 15, 2014

Last year a book came into the Book Conservation Lab as part of the Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program. The book, Systema Entomological by Heinrich Buchecker, was in two distinct pieces – text and plates.  The color lithographic plates, depicting dragonflies, were printed on paper that is a higher quality than the text. Unfortunately, the text is printed on highly acidic paper that has become brittle with age. Usually the decision to post bind is more »

Our best of 2013

December 30, 2013

2013 was a busy year for the Smithsonian Libraries! We were hard at work digitizing our collection, caring for rare books, hosting events and assisting in the Smithsonian’s core research functions. In case you missed them, here are our five most popular blog posts from 2013, giving a peak at what we did through the year and what *you* enjoyed reading about!

The Fix – FAO Schwarz 1911 Toy Catalog

December 23, 2013

New York at Christmas time evokes many memories but as a child it meant a visit to FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the United States. When a 1911 catalog from the famed toy store landed in the Book Conservation Lab it was like an early Christmas present!

Asian Paper Workshop

November 29, 2013

On November 20-22 the Smithsonian Libraries hosted a three day workshop, “Understanding Asian Papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation,” given by Minah Song, a paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia. The workshop began with a lecture on the process of papermaking in China, Korea and Japan and then moved onto hands-on techniques including learning different lining techniques, toning or paper with fiber reactive dyes, parchment repair and more »

The Scariest Book in Our Collection?

October 31, 2013

  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 »

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