A vintage photograph of a young woman, casually posed in front of a storefront window, which advertises the “friendly” Chesterfield cigarette, invites readers into X-Ray Magazine. This San Francisco Pneumatic Press publication can be found hiding, along with other artists’ books, in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library collection.
Month: July 2012
In 2011, The Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Library was awarded a $96,000 grant from the CCPF (Collections Care and Preservation Fund, an internal grant awarding source) of the Smithsonian Institution to conduct a condition assessment survey of approximately 4,000 items of its Special Collections. We’ve done many preservation and book housing projects over the years, with repairs and custom enclosures made when the occasion demanded, but we’ve never had the opportunity or plan in place to look at the condition of our Rare Book collection as a whole before.
Routine processing of library books frequently means using shelves and other spaces as staging areas for incoming and in-process items. As gifts and purchased books are acquired, cataloged and labeled, librarians typically work on them in batches, sorting on to separate shelves those which have not yet been searched in the catalog or which represent additional copies for the collection or which require a certain level of cataloging, etc. As they move through the processing of getting them to the library and ultimately, the reader they are moved from place to place in the back-rooms of library work areas.
On June 10-15, 2012, Dr. Nancy Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries Director and Biodiversity Heritage Library Executive Committee Chair),Martin Kalfatovic (Assistant Director, Digital Services Division, Smithsonian Libraries and BHL Program Director), and Grace Costantino (BHL Program Manager), along with several other BHL colleagues from across the US, traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to attend a series of meetings aimed at creating a BHL for sub-Saharan Africa.
The Conservation Lab was excited to receive another Adopt-a-Book recently. The volume was Ostéographie ou description iconographique comparée du squelette et du système dentaire des mammifères récents et fossiles(1839–64) by the French Anatomist and Biologist, Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville.
We often think of the book as a container of information. A book’s text conveys meaning through reading. However, meaning can be expressed in other ways. Typography, ink color, blank space, paper, artwork, and binding also provide information to the reader about the artist’s project. Featuring artists’ books from the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG), this exhibit investigates the way that book artists use material and visual features to make meaning.