Rockwell Kent: “A house is not a home. Not until you decorate.”

According to the author’s text in The Home Decorator and Color Guide (1939), the images in this booklet,   “are not meant to be examples of what in any absolute sense is best in architecture and decoration. Some of them are houses that I’d like to live in; some,  that I’d like to visit; all are houses I’d like to see. They suit my fairly average taste. That may be summed up as more »

Information Matters lecture with Dr. Carla Hayden – July 19th

Please join the Smithsonian Libraries for a talk with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden as part of our Information Matters Series (with the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Smithsonian’s Office of Chief Information Officer) and 50th Anniversary Lecture Series. Thursday, July 19th, 2pm ET Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art Free and open to the public. RSVP here. This lecture will be recorded and webcast (viewing details to come – event more »

Myrtle: The Provenance and Meaning of a Plant

A version of this post first appeared on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog. Provenance can be defined as the chain of ownership of any type of object from its creation to the present day. Co-organized by the Smithsonian Libraries, the Smithsonian’s Material Culture Forum recently held a lively session of presentations and discussions on this topic, with speakers from across the Institution: the National Zoo; Natural History Museum scientists and researchers in 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 »

John Cage and the sounds of silence

Paul Allen Sommerfeld volunteered in the Hirshhorn Library July 2017-March 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Duke University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Library Science at Catholic University. His research focuses on music, film/media, and fandom cultures in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In April 2018, he began as a full-time Reference Librarian in the Music Division of the Library of Congress.   The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture more »

Swinging Through Summer

With the arrival of warmer days, images such as the lawn and porch swings found in this trade catalog might look inviting. Imagine you are relaxing on a porch swing looking out over the water, just like in one of the images in this 1913 trade catalog.

The Fix: Conservation of Les Lépidoptères de la Belgique

This post was written by Ludivine Javelaud, intern in the Book Conservation Lab. I am currently a conservation graduate student at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris and I have been accepted to complete part of my 4th year internship requirement in the Book Conservation Lab in the Preservation Department at the Smithsonian Libraries.     One of the projects I am involved with is the conservation of a collection of more »

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