Small Stories from Small Countries

This post was written by Conal Huetter, recent MLS graduate from the University of Maryland and Smithsonian Libraries summer intern. Hay internship My internship was made possible by the bequest of the H.R. and E.J. Hay Charitable Trust, which was designed to support the research needs of countries with a population under one million people. With my fellow intern, Allegra Tennis (MLIS student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), this has involved identifying more »

No Wheat Chex, and other scientific issues of the 1960s

This is the first post in a two-part series. Lawrence N. Huber devoted several pages of his journal lamenting the fact that the Navy vessel he was aboard had run out of Wheat Chex.  This comes from a young man who was out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, banding thousands of often rather uncooperative birds, making observations of any type of fauna he came across in the Pacific Islands, and swimming in more »

Twitterchat on September 2nd!

Please join the Smithsonian Libraries, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) for a twitterchat on September 2nd. The chat will take place between 2-3 pm (EST) and feature Helen James, Curator of Birds and our recent Once There Were Billions exhibit in NMNH, and Martin Kalfatovic, Program Director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Mammals Library roars back to life

This post was written by Dave Opkins, Smithsonian Libraries’ Administrative Projects Specialist. In a remote corner on the third floor of the National Museum of Natural History lies the Mammals Library.  This medium-sized room houses roughly 10,000 volumes on mammalian subjects such as systematics, distribution, evolution, morphology, ecology, and evolution.  There are also a number of related study aids such as dictionaries, atlases, and other resources.  This impressive collection exists for the more »

Honolulu Calling: A Tapa Barkcloth Binding for a 1930 Phone Book from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries recently acquired a telephone book. Big deal, you say? Ah, but this is a telephone directory for the territory of Hawaii, issued for the winter of 1930. For that reason alone, it’s fun to browse through, to see the old advertisements and daydream about living in the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands, back in the days when the entire list of businesses and households in the territory which owned telephones could be recorded in one slim volume. But this isn’t just any old phone book. This particular copy belonged to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, which opened in February 1927 on the spectacular Waikiki beachfront. Known as “the Pink Palace of the Pacific,” the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of the earliest luxury resorts established in this tropical paradise. The stylish décor featured at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, inspired partly by the native crafts of the South Sea Islanders, exerted a lasting influence upon tourists from the mainland, who came to associate the good life in Hawaii more »

The Next Best Thing to Being There …

In case you missed the event, here is a video of remarks made at the grand re-opening of the National Museum of Natural History’s new main library.

NMNH Library Grand (Re)Opening

Four years after the initial design process began, the National Museum of Natural History Library showed off its new home to over 170 guests. Folks poured in to see the new space and attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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