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Tag: Smithsonian Libraries

Fashion for Hair – A creepiness I like

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library owns many types of pattern books for architecture, textiles, wall coverings, and ornament for use by designers. Among our more unusual “how to” pattern books and trade catalogs are two recently digitized hair jewelry pattern books – The jewellers’ book of patterns in hair work and Charles T. Menge’s price list of ornamental hair jewelry and device work.

Discovering the artwork of the original AA/PG Library

~This post was written by Katherine Williamson, an intern at the American Art/ Portrait Gallery library.

Smithsonian NCFA/NPG Library c. 1975. Photo by Wolfgang Freitag
Cast-iron Eagle in the Smithsonian NCFA/NPG Library c. 1975. Photo by Wolfgang Freitag
Smithsonian NCFA/NPG Library, 1975. Photo by Wolfgang Freitag
Smithsonian NCFA/NPG Library, 1975. Photo by Wolfgang Freitag

As part of my work as an American Art/Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) intern, I answer reference questions from patrons that involve some type of research, either within our collection or using  online sources that the library subscribes to. One of the most interesting reference questions I have received actually came from our Head Librarian, Doug Litts. Through his own research involving the original location of the AA/PG library – Room 331 of the main museum building – he came across a list of paintings, a marble bust and a cast iron sculpture, that were located in what was known as the NCFA/NPG Library when it was housed in the museum. Through circumstances unknown to us, those artworks were never transported to the Victor Building when the library moved here in 2000. He became very interested in the history of the artworks, as well as where they are now, and recruited me to help him in his research.

Weeding the Z’s

"Z" classification books to be deaccessioned from the AA/PG Library.

 The following post was written by American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library intern Becca Tanen. She is currently in her second year of a dual master’s program in Library Science and English at Catholic University.

Two years ago, I was working at the library of a K-12 private school in Maryland when one of the librarians handed me the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) manual for weeding modern libraries, developed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

This library had never weeded the collection before, so I thanked her, excited to begin tackling such an exciting challenge. “I don’t think anyone has ever thanked me for giving them a weeding manual before,” she said, laughing.

African American art and the Harmon Foundation

 

1928 Harmon Exhibition Brouchure featuring Sargent Johnson
1928 Harmon Exhibition Brouchure featuring Sargent Johnson

When wealthy real estate developer William Elmer Harmon founded the Harmon Foundation in 1922, it originally supported causes as varied as playgrounds, biblical films and nursing programs. But it is better known today as one of the first major supporters of African American creativity and ingenuity.