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.  

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.

20th Annual Dibner Library Lecture featuring Robert S. Westman

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to present the 20th Annual Dibner Library Lecture: Copernicus and the Astrologers, Featuring Robert S. Westman Thursday, December 12, 2013, 5:00 p.m. Reception to follow Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th and F Streets NW Washington, DC 20004 RSVP at 202-633-2241 or SILRSVP@si.edu Event is free and open to the public

Help transcribe a treasure!

August 26, 2013

Are you itching to contribute to the wealth of knowledge at the Smithsonian? Well, now you can from the comfort of your own home (or local coffee shop or library or bus station . . .).  The Smithsonian Institution is recruiting “virtual volunteers” to help unlock some of the mysteries in our collection through the Transcription Center.

Chilling out with rare books

August 2, 2013

This post was written by Morgan Arronson, intern in the Dibner Library for the History and Science and Technology and Preservation Department. If you want to stay cool during DC’s hot and humid summer, head to the Smithsonian and find the nearest rare book. Instantly a wave of cool air will rush by. This may sound strange but it works every time. Here at the Smithsonian’s Dibner Library and the Book Conservation more »

The Visit of the Steamship Historical Society of America in the Dibner Library

July 22, 2013

This post was written by Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections. On June 24, 2013, The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology hosted a group from a national society interested in a special topic, steam vessel navigation. The Steamship Historical Society of America requested a rare book display and presentation following the encouragement of Brent Dibner, who is a Board Member of the association and knows about the Library’s more »

The Fix – Edward Jenner’s Cure for Smallpox

July 17, 2013

When a book that had the impact of Edward Jenner’s An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae comes into the conservation lab we get fairly excited. This 1798 first edition, part of the Dibner Library, outlines the technique of infecting patients with the mild cowpox virus to create immunity from the highly contagious and often deadly smallpox virus. As a result of his findings Jenner is considered the father of immunology more »

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