Wine and Washington

October 3, 2014

Now that the time of harvesting grapes for wine in the Northern Hemisphere is coming to a close, let’s raise an appreciative glass and toast John Adlum, known to a few as the “Father of American Viticulture.” The history of wine making in the United States is involved, to say the least (see Pinney’s magisterial work on the subject*) but it was Adlum who nurtured the first commercially viable vine in this more »

Visitors from Paradise: The Paradiseidae

October 1, 2014

This post was written by Grace Costantino, Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). It first appeared on the BHL blog here. Deep within the rainforest canopy of the Aru Islands, just west of New Guinea, two male Greater Birds-of-Paradise dance among the branches in carefully coordinated steps, their magnificent yellow, white, and maroon plumage undulating gracefully to the rhythm of their own unique song.

Mary in Miniature

September 29, 2014

This post was written by Lauren Eames. Lauren  was an intern with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library, Summer 2014.  She is working on her B.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Chicago. NEW YORK, 1982 – “Recent gifts to the museum library include a 15th-century illuminated prayer book from Northern Europe, featuring five full-page illuminations, historiated and floriated initials, and elaborate border fantasies; it is the gift of Joseph Farber more »

A Visit from Co-op City and an Artists’ Book for the Collection

September 24, 2014

  This summer the Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art (AfA) and the American Art Museum/National Art Museum Library (AAPG) hosted a group of 54 visitors from Co-op City in the Bronx, NY to recognize the acquisition of an artists’ book into the AAPG Library’s collection.

The Fix – Atlas Science Tablet

September 22, 2014

It’s that back to school time of year with backpacks filled with new school supplies.  If you were a student in the 1890s you may have had a new “Atlas Science Tablet” in your school bag. This particular tablet was for botany with 28 pages for notes. However, the notes in this  tablet pertain to mathematics with entry titles such as “The Geometric Representation of Numbers.”     The tablet came to the book conservation more »

Authors of fiction at the Smithsonian

September 20, 2014

The post was written by Gil Taylor and Keri Thompson and was originally featured on our Tumblr page. Last year, our reference team received an interesting query from a student of cultural anthropology wanting ”to find out if any of the Smithsonian employees have published a work of fiction?” Boy, and have they! In case you needed some end-of-summer reading suggestions, here is a list of fiction works by former or current Smithsonian more »

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.

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