What products or materials come to mind when you think of libraries? The obvious things might be books and shelving, but to keep a library functioning other items are needed as well. Supplies for circulating and tracking books and identifying ownership of books remain largely behind the scenes but are just as important.
Author: Alexia MacClain
As winter winds down and spring approaches, outdoor activities start to look more appealing. How did people a 100 years ago spend their free time outside? The National Museum of American History Library’s Trade Literature Collection offers a few clues to some very recognizable pastimes.
A garden is a place to rest, relax, rejuvenate. It also provides an opportunity to learn about nature. Staff at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives are also learning and developing new skills. Some of these new skills are related to digitization and accessibility of biodiversity literature.
With the beginning of a new semester, many students will resume research. Today we might be familiar with electronic resources and online library catalogs, but in the past people searched for and located library materials in a different way. Let’s take a look at the card catalog.
As the holidays approach, children often dream of that perfect gift. What did a child dream of in the early 20th Century? Is it very different from today? Perhaps there are some similarities. We may find a few possibilities in this trade catalog.
Families have different Thanksgiving traditions. Some may prefer a casual dinner while others plan formal events. Either way, a Thanksgiving meal requires many pieces, everything from individual place settings to serving dishes. How might Great Grandma have set her table for a special occasion in 1915? This trade catalog may give us a glimpse.
Today, most people are familiar with online shopping but some might also remember mail ordering. While one method uses computers, the other relies on paper. However, there are similarities. Both allow consumers to shop from the comforts of home, and both require mailing and shipping at some point. Then, items are delivered direct to the customer’s door. The Trade Literature Collection includes a variety of mail order catalogs. Let’s take a look at one from 1907.