There is a unique joy in watching a video or reading a news story with images of a librarian handling a rare book. Rare books, unlike many museum objects, are more »
Author: Alexandra K. Alvis
This blog post is part of a series from Smithsonian Libraries highlighting Unearthed, a new collection of paleobiology literature in Biodiversity Heritage Library curated by Smithsonian Libraries in celebration of the opening of more »
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History’s 1602 edition of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De animalibus insectis has always been a favorite of mine, and the rest of our special collections staff. Aside from being the first European work dedicated solely to the natural history of insects and featuring numerous incredible woodcut illustrations, it also retains its beautiful contemporary binding. But this binding is just as dangerous as it is lovely: the green paint adorning the vellum of the front and back boards is laced with arsenic.
Author’s note: Elizabeth Gould was a 19th century artist responsible for some of the most historically significant images of birds ever published. She was also a devoted wife and mother. more »
“Do your reading!” and “Don’t write in your books!” are two oft-echoed directions from schoolteachers. A 1491 edition of Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia housed in our Joseph F. more »
This post was written by Alexandra K. Neuman, library technician in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History. The pigeons most of us are used to more »