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Chaptour Guides: Expanding the Museum Experience Through Teen Engagement

This post was written by Olivia Wisnewski, Education Intern for Summer 2018. As anyone who has ever parented, taught or spoken to a teenager can tell you, teenagers can be difficult. From the snarky kid at the grocery checkout to the herd of teens glued to their phones on the sidewalk, it’s easy to see why some people dread social situations with unknown teenagers. But what if we could turn that notion more »

Cultivating America’s Gardens Coming to a Close – Come Visit Before It Ends!

Come visit the Cultivating America’s Gardens exhibition in the National Museum of American History before it closes this August! The exhibition officially opened in May 2017 and will be saying goodbye at the end of this summer. The exhibition highlights the establishment of botanical gardens and the history of gardening in America. On show are a collection of books and other objects from the Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens collections. Here you more »

Join us for “Cultures of the Garden: The Hidden Histories of an American Obsession”

Join us as Dr. Jennifer Atkinson and Dr. Robert S. Emmett explore the garden’s unique role in American history and literature, including ways it has shaped U.S. culture and the arts, social justice movements, environmental advocacy, and other public and private visions of the good life. 5:30pm, Friday, June 22, 2018 S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW Copies of Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy, and Everyday Practice and Cultivating Environmental more »

Swing Into Victory! A World War II Era Garden Party Garden Party

  The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens co-host “Swing Into Victory! A World War II Era Garden Party Garden Party” Friday, May 18, at 6:00 p.m. in the Smithsonian’s Enid A. Haupt Garden and the historic Arts and Industries Building. The event celebrates the patriotic American food gardens of World War II with live music, swing dancing, canning demonstrations, activities, tastings and food and drink inspired by the era. The event is more »

Botany and Horticulture at the Libraries

In honor of National Gardens Month (April), the Smithsonian Libraries’ 50th Anniversary and our exhibition, Cultivating America’s Gardens, we take a deeper look at the botany and horticulture collections in Smithsonian Libraries. I never expected that a position managing a small one person library at the U.S. National Arboretum would be my lucky break into what has become a wonderful 15 year—and counting—career in botanical and horticultural librarianship.     Since June 2008, I have managed the Botany and Horticulture Library, a branch of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Natural and Physical Sciences Department, located in the U.S. National Herbarium, Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History. It is an ever growing, actively used collection, currently holding over 100,000 books and journals. The Library serves two different types of researchers whose commonality is plants: botanists and horticulturalists. Botanists primarily work with literature that is taxonomic in nature, but there is an increasing need to provide phylogenetic and genomic information across all the science libraries. Horticulturalists from the Smithsonian Gardens conduct research more »

New Teen Docent Program in “Cultivating America’s Gardens”

This post was written by Abigail Espiritu, a summer intern focusing on social media and the Libraries’ blog. This fall, Abigail will be entering her freshmen year at the University of Maryland where she will be majoring in journalism. This summer, the Smithsonian Libraries offered a new opportunity for students to work in the National Museum of American History (NMAH) as teen docents! A group of eleven teens, consisting of high school more »

John Lewis Childs: A Profile of an American Seedsman.

Cultivating America’s Gardens, our newest exhibition produced with Smithsonian Gardens is now open in the National Museum of American History and features many colorful seed catalogs from our collection. This post, highlighting seedsman John Lewis Childs,  was written by social media intern Trudi J. Antoine. While some children played games and chased the pavement, John Lewis Childs pursued a dream of playing in the dirt. Starting from the ground up, horticulturist and more »

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