Computers and Washington

+-*Last fall, I marked the season for the harvesting of grapes to honor John Adlum, the little-known “Father of American Viticulture.” The origins of the first commercially viable vine in the American wine industry can be traced to the District of Columbia. Now, with the great interest in Alan Turing, the recent auction sale of this English mathematician’s 56-page notebook for more than a million dollars, and the success of the movie, more »

Smithsonian Libraries Observes the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

+-*History in the Making… In addition to rare books and special collections housed in the DeWitt Clinton Ramsey Room, one of the valuable resources located in the National Air and Space Museum’s Library is its rich and diverse collection of books and journals which focus on the meteoric rise and advances in the field of aviation during World War II. May 8th marks the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, or “Victory in more »

The Chakras at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library

+-*This post was originally featured on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s “Object of the Day” blog, written by digital media technologist Katie Shelly. Last year, our librarian Stephen Van Dyk picked up this slender blue hardcover at a rare book auction. He didn’t know exactly what a “chakra” was, but still he found the worn old book remarkable, if not a bit weird, for its striking illustrations of big painted circles.

Celebrate Preservation Week!

+-*Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections and Services and partner organizations, Preservation Week was created in 2010 to address the roughly 630 million items in collecting institutions that are in need of immediate attention and care, as well as to help individuals protect and store their personal, family and community collections.

Viewing the Universe from the Dibner Library

+-*The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology was created from a gift by Bern Dibner, electrical engineer, inventor, collector, and science historian. At the heart of this collection are Dibner’s “Heralds of Science” ,  200 seminal works that Dibner himself believed marked significant scientific advancement in their respective fields. One area that is particularly fascinating is the astronomy section.

“’Tis A Gift To Be Simple” But to Have a Splendid Garden Buy Shaker Seeds

+-*In honor of Earth Day and National Garden Month, we take a look at one of the lesser known influences in the seed and garden business – the Shaker community.

A Different kind of Goldrush

+-*Gold rush : a multi-page serigraph  by Jill Timm. Wenatchee, WA : Mystical Places Press, 2013.  This intriguing title Gold Rush, represents three of the Cooper-Hewitt Library’s special collecting interests all in one book. We have a large collection of over 2,000 pop-up and movable books, ranging from the 15th century through the present day; also a collection of artist’s books with movable parts, and a large variety of books and periodicals  that more »

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