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Category: Advancement and Development

The Fix: Treating Historic Sheet Music

Earlier this year, two music manuscripts arrived in the book conservation lab from the Dibner Library for the History of Science and Technology. These two small items, James Bishop’s musical Gamut of 1766, and Uri Bishop’s Military Music from the War of 1812, were part of a donation earlier in the year by James L. Cerruti and his sister Vera V. Magruder. The generous gift was featured in a Smithsonian Libraries blog post by Liz O’Brien, “Donations Reveal a Family History”.

 

It’s Your Deal. Five Card Stud, or… Whist?

L: Book illustration (England), 1816; engraving. Title page: From an ancient print engraved by Israel Van Mecken. Researches into the history of playing cards; with illustrations of the origin of printing and engraving on wood … By Samuel Weller Singer. London, R. Triphook, 1816. GV1233 .S61X CHMRU. Smithsonian Libraries. R: Acorn suit of playing cards. Book illustration (England), 1816; engraving. German playing cards, Plate VII. (with suits of bells, hearts, leaves and acorns). 15th century. GV1233 .S61X CHMRU. Smithsonian Libraries.

 

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Library owns books like Researches into the history of playing cards (1816) that support research into the objects in the museum’s curatorial departments.  In studying this book, I was able to make a connection between the book illustrations and some playing cards in the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s Drawings & Prints collections.  This book is an in-depth research into the history of playing cards, with black and white engravings, and eight hand-colored woodcuts. Smithsonian Libraries’ has an Adopt-a-Book Program that provides essential funding to support the conservation, acquisition, and digitization of books and manuscripts. In addition to adopting books online, the Cooper Hewitt Library will be having a special Adopt a Book event on Nov.7th, 2017 in the museum in New York City.  This title is one of the books up for adoption to fund its preservation treatment.

You’re Invited: Adopt-a-Book Evening

On November 7, we invite you to join us for an evening celebrating the scintillating collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library at our Adopt-a-Book event in New York City. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library is the nation’s premiere resource for books, trade catalogs, serials, pictures, and archival material on design and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present. The Library features more than 8,000 rare treasures.

Support the Warren M. Robbins Library at the National Museum of African Art

Librarian Janet Stanley with a researcher in the Warren M. Robbins Library at the National Museum of African Art.

Every day, librarian Janet Stanley and the staff of the Warren M. Robbins Library at the National Museum of African Art work tirelessly in support of the Smithsonian’s guiding purpose: to foster the increase and diffusion of knowledge. This African Art Library plays an essential role in connecting colleagues, researchers, and artists around the world to engage in promoting the critical work that ensures a future of knowledge and discovery of African art.

Make your gift by September 15th and it will be matched by a special anonymous donor, doubling your impact.

On Book Puzzles and Hot Air Balloons

While at the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SLRA) during the second week of my Smithsonian Libraries internship, I was asked to select and research texts in SLRA’s collection for the Adopt-a-Book Program. Adopt-a-Book is an opportunity for bibliophiles to “adopt” a book from one of the Smithsonian Libraries’ twenty-one branches, granting them acknowledgement through a virtual bookplate in the SIL online catalog, SIRIS. Potential donors can view the books up for adoption on the Libraries website, along with a brief history and description of each. In addition to generating revenue, Adopt-a-Book is a great way to tell and preserve the stories of physical texts; as I quickly discovered, each book has a unique, often untapped past.