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Tag: Adopt A Book

Spotlight: Elements of the philosophy of plants (Edinburgh, 1821)


Elements of the philosophy of plants by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle and Kurt Sprengel is the first edition in English of a composite work by two of the most eminent botanists of the early 19th century. The first three parts on nomenclature, theory of classification, and descriptive botany are from a work by de Candolle, while the final part on the structure and nature of plants is by Sprengel. This book was recently adopted through our Adopt-a-Book program by George Gwynn Hill.

Adopt-a-Book Event

Thank you to those who attended our annual Adopt-a-Book event on January 9 in the Smithsonian Castle. Almost 120 books have been adopted since inception of our Adopt-a-Book program. Last year, 26 books were adopted at our Adopt-a-Book event (48 books were on display), 128 tickets were purchased and more than $10,000 was raised. This year, 45 books were adopted at the event (74 books were on display), 106 tickets were purchased and more than $12,000 was raised.

The Fix – Post Binding

Last year a book came into the Book Conservation Lab as part of the Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program. The book, Systema Entomological by Heinrich Buchecker, was in two distinct pieces – text and plates.  The color lithographic plates, depicting dragonflies, were printed on paper that is a higher quality than the text. Unfortunately, the text is printed on highly acidic paper that has become brittle with age. Usually the decision to post bind is a difficult one.  Book conservators strive to retain as much of the original binding as possible in their work.  A post binding is a last resort solution for books with extremely brittle paper – allowing them to remain in use to the researcher.  As this set came to us unbound, the decision was easier to make.

Still time to join us for Adopt-a-Book!

It’s less than a week away, but there are still tickets available for our Adopt-a-Book event next Thursday! Enjoy a unique and lively evening to benefit the Smithsonian Libraries’ rare book and preservation programs. The event will feature German food, wine and beer, and entertainment. Guests will have the opportunity to browse a trove of remarkable and historic volumes and are invited to learn more about the Libraries’ special collections and why they must be preserved.

Chilling out with rare books

De proprietatibus rerum
De proprietatibus rerum in the Dibner Library

This post was written by Morgan Arronson, intern in the Dibner Library for the History and Science and Technology and Preservation Department.

If you want to stay cool during DC’s hot and humid summer, head to the Smithsonian and find the nearest rare book. Instantly a wave of cool air will rush by. This may sound strange but it works every time.

Here at the Smithsonian’s Dibner Library and the Book Conservation Lab located in Landover, MD, where I’ve been interning for the past six weeks, rare and precious texts are kept in climate controlled environments with humidity and temperature levels set to levels bordering on chilly. Wandering the stacks will give anyone goose bumps—not only because of the cool temperatures but also because of the incredible library materials stored there.

Adopt-a-Book Event a Success!

A table full of adopted books.

The Smithsonian Libraries would like to thank all who attended and supported our first Adopt-a-Book event held at the Smithsonian Castle on Thursday, September 13. Over 25 books were adopted from our Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library, Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library for Natural History, and the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.