There is a unique joy in watching a video or reading a news story with images of a librarian handling a rare book. Rare books, unlike many museum objects, are more »
Tag: Special collections
This post was written by Mikaela Hamilton, summer intern in the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SILRA). She is a senior at Cornell University studying Archaeology and Classics, and has worked more »
Morgan E. Aronson has recently departed the Smithsonian Libraries but was previously the library technician at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. The role of the more »
On the occasion of Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor, the first major retrospective ever organized for an artist born into slavery and the most comprehensive look at Bill Traylor’s work to date, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Sept. 28, 2018 – Mar. 17, 2019, we take a look at a special Traylor work in our library collections.
Bill Traylor’s art is colorful—floating silhouettes of yellow, red and purple dogs, rabbits and snakes; brown, green and blue people walking, talking, working and drinking. Set against simple backgrounds, Traylor’s inspired figures interpreted the world of his youth on Alabama plantation farms through the world of his old age, the downtown streets of Montgomery.
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History’s 1602 edition of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De animalibus insectis has always been a favorite of mine, and the rest of our special collections staff. Aside from being the first European work dedicated solely to the natural history of insects and featuring numerous incredible woodcut illustrations, it also retains its beautiful contemporary binding. But this binding is just as dangerous as it is lovely: the green paint adorning the vellum of the front and back boards is laced with arsenic.
The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the donation of research ephemera for more than 4,000 artists from the Art Students League of New York (ASL), to be housed at the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library.
In the early eighteenth century, English naturalist Mark Catesby set foot in a New World. After spending the better part of ten years, spread across two separate trips, exploring and more »