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Author: Erin Thomas

Erin Thomas served as a Digital Collections Librarian at Smithsonian Libraries from 2009-2014.

Highlights from the Cultural Heritage Library: A Little Lacey

directionsformak00rizz_0015With over 40 volumes detailing the intricacies of lace collection and creation, the Cultural Heritage Library’s Lace Collection covers a lot of ground. About half of the collection is in English, with titles like Directions for Making Poncetto Lace among the most popular. Downloaded 400 times since being digitized, this title offers instruction in the titular Italian knotted lace technique, complete with several patterns to follow.

Highlights from the Cultural Heritage Library: Physiognomy edition

humanfaceasexpre00stoc_0094The Cultural Heritage Library (CHL) covers a wide range of topics. Government publications, Smithsonian exhibition catalogs, travel guides, and geographic histories–the CHL aims to digitize everything from our history, art, and culture collections that we can. As such, the entire collection was currently published prior to 1923, so some of it can sound dated or naive to modern ears.

African Art in the Cultural Heritage Library

lecongoillustr11892brux_0137The Cultural Heritage Library (CHL) has been through a few incarnations over the last 3 years but the content remains the same. It is a digital collection that includes materials from the History, Art, and Culture libraries within the Smithsonian. The collection has been developed using branch librarian’s selections as well as items that have been identified as being relatively scarce according to OCLC holdings. Subject headings are part of the descriptive metadata for each title and are available to browse from the Internet Archive website, providing an at-a-glance overview of the collection.

Space Saving with the CHL!

catalogueofgames00milt_0001As many of you have likely heard by now, the Internet has reached capacity. We have simply digitized too much, posted too many pictures of our cats, and tweeted all the one liners possible. There is no more room. No more blog posts, no more Instagram accounts and certainly no more Facebook! Residents of the modern world have filled the Internet’s digital pages and it is now, at long last, complete.

Highlights from the Cultural Heritage Library: James Whistler

James Whistler was a Victorian dandy.  A staunch proponent of “art for art’s sake”, a prominent figure in Victorian society, and while born in America, he divided  his time between London and Paris. He advocated the decorative in art to such an extent, that his signature evolved into an apt symbol: the delicate, yet threatening, butterfly with a stinger.