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Tag: Adopt A Book

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.

The Fix: Preservation and “Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head”

Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head by Alexander Cozens was published in 1778 by James Dixwell in London. It is a large book measuring 55 by 38 centimeters (21.5 by 15 inches) and is part of the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library collection. It came to the Book Conservation Lab as part of Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program.

The content includes printed drawings of women’s heads and their various facial features. For example, there is one page dedicated to different shaped eyes and another dedicated to different shaped noses. The final 17 pages are especially impressive. They are printed with different shaped women’s faces shown in profile without hair. There are 17 tissue paper overlays each printed with a different hairstyle that can be placed over the pages of the women’s heads, allowing the reader to compare hairstyles to see how they look on different shaped faces. It is amusing to see something being done in a book in the 18th century that can still be done on your smartphone today.

 

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.

The Fix: Preserving “Nimm Mich Mit!”

This blog post was written by Noah Smutz, book conservator.

Nimm Mich Mit! by Lothar Meggendorfer is a lovely early 20th century German visual dictionary filled with colorful illustrations. They include everyday objects including geometric shapes, kitchen utensils, clothing, plants, animals, people at work, and house interiors (learn more in a recent blog post ). This book is part of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Library collection in New York City.

 

Nimm mich mit!

This post was contributed by David Holbert, Digital Imaging Specialist at the Smithsonian Libraries Digital Imaging Center. A wonderful German children’s book came through the Smithsonian Libraries’ Imaging Center recently more »

Secretary Skorton Adopts Books!

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(L-R): Nancy E. Gwinn, Mary Augusta Thomas, Leslie Overstreet, Lilla Vekerdy, and Secretary Skorton.

Last February we welcomed Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library in the National Museum of Natural History. On behalf of his wife Dr. Robin Davisson and himself, the Secretary was on a mission to select books for conservation as part of the Libraries’ Adopt-a-Book Program. Lilla Vekerdy, head of special collections, and Leslie Overstreet, curator of natural history rare books, displayed special treasures dating back to the 16th century from our collection. While we may have enticed him with too many selections, the Secretary ultimately chose three books: