Eyeglasses and Spectacles of the Past

April 14, 2014

Many of us who wear glasses everyday will probably find ourselves relating to these two sentences. “But take the subject all in all, and consider it in all its phases, it cannot be denied that the invention of spectacles was one of the most useful to the human family.” “Many a man and woman to-day in all quarters of the known world owes the pleasure of existence to the use of scientifically more »

White Bronze for the hereafter

April 4, 2014

This Catalogue of the Monumental Bronze Co. is one of the many examples of trade literature that the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library has in its collection; they are among the most valuable research resources for documenting the tastes and trends of culture, and the products being marketed and sold in a given time period. These are Victorian era zinc sculpture and ornaments for cemetery grave markers and “monuments”.  “White bronze” was an more »

A European Tour on Bicycle

March 20, 2014

While browsing the Collections Search Center for an interesting trade catalog to highlight on the Blog, I came across this one from 1894. The only illustration in the entire catalog is on the front cover but that’s not what caught my eye. Instead, it was two words in the first paragraph: “photographic souvenirs.”

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 »

A Look Back at Sleds

February 26, 2014

With large parts of the U.S.  experiencing so much snow recently, this seemed like the perfect time to take a look at one of our trade catalogs about sleds. Catalogue of Paris Manufacturing Co. is from 1890 and shows several pages of sleds. Though these have a slightly different appearance than sleds of today, some of us might remember ones that looked similar to these.

Images on Art.com

February 19, 2014

Ever come across a Smithsonian Libraries image in our Galaxy that you wish you could frame? The Galaxy of Images contains thousands of beautiful images scanned from our collection. Now’s your chance to own and display a treasured piece of the Libraries in your home or office!

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2015

January 27, 2014

Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record of the past. The Libraries is uniquely positioned to help scholars understand the continuing vitality of this more »

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