“Garden Stories” is a week long social media event for garden lovers from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The campaign will explore the fascinating world of gardening, from the rise of agriculture to the home garden and the mail order gardening phenomenon. Celebrating the history, science, and art of gardening, content will be published via the BHL Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest, with additional posts through the Smithsonian Libraries’ Tumblr.
Here’s your chance to adopt Ocean Gardens: The History of the Marine Aquarium (London, 1857) by Henry Noel Humphreys! Humphreys, an illustrator, entomologist, and scholar of medieval manuscripts, wrote this little volume on the history of the marine aquarium, which includes advice on creating and maintaining one, and detailed information on which varieties of plants and animals to choose. When this book was written, modern in-home aquariums were still a very recent development. In the early 1850’s, the first major public aquarium opened at the London Zoological Society.
The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to accept applications for our Summer 2015 General Internship Program. The available projects are listed below. Applications for all projects will be collected through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (https://solaa.si.edu/). Applications are due April 18th . Please see the general internship page for additional information.
Over a decade before Wernher von Braun and his colleagues jumpstarted the space age with the V-2 (or A-4) rocket, Robert H. Goddard was conducting experiments in the New Mexican desert on rockets powered by liquid fuel. After years of testing, the financially-strapped professor from Princeton appealed to the Smithsonian Institution for support to continue his experiments.
Organizations which respond to the changing needs of their clients are the ones that survive well. Here are two examples:
Shortly after General Motors began manufacturing cars in the early 1900s it created a unit (GMAC), which loaned money to car buyers and earned interest on these loans. Although known worldwide as an industrial powerhouse, eventually GM began earning far more profit from this money-lending operation than they did from auto sales. GM eventually sold the finance unit to pay off other debts.
A second example involves a much smaller company. Readers in the Mid-Atlantic region may remember Erol’s TV which started out in the 1970s repairing televisions and other electronics and later began renting video cassette players for home use. It wasn’t long before Erol’s began stocking VHS, Betamax and DVDs and became known primarily as a video rental store. They later sold the business to Blockbuster for $30 million. However the company continued to evolve in response to consumer demands, becoming an Internet service provider in the 1990s, competing with early ISPs like CompuServ, Prodigy and AOL.
Smithsonian Libraries has been working to share its collection of artists’ books. One of the end products of this initiative has been the creation of a new Smithsonian Libraries artists’ book collection portal where visitors can explore the many artworks in the collection and learn more about the medium.
As part of my interest and research into the medium of artists’ books as and as the branch librarian for the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG), my participation as the juror for a national artist book exhibition held at Pyramid Atlantic has been detailed in a previous post on Unbound. All of this led up to the opening night.