New Staff (Part 1)

The Libraries has welcomed several new staff members in the past year. We are pleased to introduce you to them here! Grace Costantino, Outreach and Communication Manager, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Digital Services -Hometown: Denver, Colorado -Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien -Fun Fact: Grace and her husband love to travel and her favorite place thus far is Cape Town, South Africa. She hopes to visit at least one country on each continent (maybe even Antarctica!) and all 50 states. Hollis Gentry, Genealogy Specialist, National Museum of African American History & Culture Library, Research Services Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia Favorite Book: Anything from Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Octavia Butler Fun Fact: I was bitten by the genealogy bug at age 13 and have been addicted to tracing my genealogy for many years, to the end of the 18th century on my mom’s side of the family. I am thrilled to have landed my dream job of being a genealogist at a phenomenal library network within the more »

Beyond Shells: The Birth of Malacology

Until the late 18th century, the study of mollusks was based largely on shells. Very little research or published information existed about molluscan anatomy and soft tissues. Giuseppe Saverio Poli, recognized by many as the father of malacology, changed this with his monumental publication, Testacea utriusque Siciliae eorumque historia et anatome (1791-1827).

Simple Rehousing

Numerous pamphlets, catalogues, and paperbound materials contribute to the vast general collections held within the Smithsonian Libraries. Many of these fragile items were carefully treated by past Preservation Services staff using approaches similar to those we currently employ.

Surrealism for the Masses: Finds from the Art and Artist Files

    The world of modern art is at times criticized for a certain reputation of exclusivity and mystery in which the more inaccessible a certain artist or artwork may be, the more valuable and reputable the art becomes. Salvador Dali, the most famed member of the twentieth century avant-garde movement, Surrealism, on the other hand, challenges this perception that artistic creation is a closed-off affair for an elite few. Sure, Dali was no more »

A Salesman in 1917

While browsing the Trade Literature Collection, you never know what you might find. One search might lead you to discover something you never realized was even there. Recently, I was searching for catalogs related to food or ones that included recipes. That led me to this 1917 almanac from J. R. Watkins Medical Co.

The Gift of Adoption

This entry was written by Linda Blancato, book lover and Adopt-a-Book supporter. I’ve always been a librarian at heart. My father was a master bookbinder who owned a bindery in Baltimore, Maryland. He instilled in his family a love and respect for all things related to books: the cover, the bindings, the pages, and of course the content. From a young age, I’ve always appreciated that the real value of books includes more »

A notable autograph for National Aviation Day

In honor of National Aviation Day, Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) turns to a piece of history found in the Ramsey Room. Established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939, National Aviation Day is celebrated every year on August 19th, which is also the birthday of Orville Wright.

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