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Smithsonian Libraries / Unbound

The Varied and Artistic Uses of Decorative Tissue Paper

That time of year is upon us. The season when we see lots of gift bags stuffed with brightly colored tissue paper. The simple act of fluffing a piece of tissue paper and placing it in a bag seems to brighten any present. But how about using tissue paper to create art? This trade catalog from over a century ago might spark our creativity.

Kitchen Essentials from Centuries Past

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Family gatherings, time with friends, relaxing, traveling, or maybe a delicious meal? Those meals require work, and today we have the luxury of modern kitchen appliances. But imagine the time it took to prepare a meal in the 19th Century. This 1868 trade catalog gives us a small glimpse into possible kitchens of the past.

Tracing Anthropologist Zelia Nuttall Through Smithsonian Collections

Anthropologist Zelia Maria Magdalena Nuttall was an expert in Mesoamerican people and artifacts. A remarkable Mexican American scholar, she helped change the conversation around pre-Columbian cultures. Many of her publications are held in the collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Archives and traces of her work can be found in repositories more »