This post was written by John Powell, Exhibit Developer/Writer with Smithsonian Exhibits. It first appeared on the Smithsonian Exhibits blog. Last year, Smithsonian Libraries celebrated its 50th anniversary as more »
Tag: Magnificent Obsessions
We wish you warm tidings from all of us at Smithsonian Libraries this holiday season! Within the snow globe is an image of the Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle) from more »
Should you happen to spot—say, in a yard sale, thrift store or grandparent’s house—an old copy of that classic of ornithological literature, A Field Guide to the Birds, have a close look. The first printing of the first edition of 1934 is calling for prices well over $10,000 in the antiquarian book trade. One was recently spied by keen-eyed staff in an office at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. This volume has been transferred to a more suitable habitat, the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, for cataloging, preservation, research access, and education. Curator Leslie Overstreet has gathered from branch libraries three others of this title to include in the rare book library’s holdings.
The Smithsonian Libraries presents a new exhibition, “Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History beginning Nov. 7. “Magnificent Obsessions” will be on display through July 1, 2020.
“Magnificent Obsessions” tells the captivating stories of the book collectors whose diverse interests and passions helped shape—and continue to contribute to—the Smithsonian Libraries. Through rare books, manuscripts and other intriguing items from across the varied Libraries of the Smithsonian, the exhibition highlights the personal motivations and enduring impact of book collectors who were compelled to share their “magnificent obsessions” with the nation.