Native Fruit: The Wild Blueberry

My favorite chronicler of natural and cultural histories in early America is Englishman John Josselyn. He was a curious and good-humored observer of the 17th-century inhabitants of northern New England, both indigenous and colonists, and their ways. Josselyn was particularly interested in local, medicinal uses of plants. Of what he referred to as “bill berries,” Europe’s closest relative to the blueberries, he reported that the fruit is used “To cool the heat more »

2018 Dibner Library Lecture: Medical book collecting and scholarship

The Smithsonian Libraries invites you to the 2018 Dibner Library Lecture, featuring Dr. Bruce Fye:   Medical book collecting and scholarship: A recovering bibliomaniac shares his perspective Thursday, December 6th, 2018, 5 pm National Museum of Natural History Q?rius Theater, Ground Floor W. Bruce Fye, MD, MA Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine Emeritus Consultant, Department of Cardiology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota   In this talk, Dr. Fye will discuss more »

Smithsonian Libraries Opens “Magnificent Obsessions”

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 more »

Clarifying connections: Navajo Oral History

One never knows what kind of material will be next, when cataloging for library branches serving Smithsonian’s 19 museums and research centers.  I recently received a box of DVDs that needed complex copy and original cataloging.  The first several DVDs were oral history interviews with Navajo Code Talkers, which immediately piqued my interest.  As I worked my way to the bottom of the box, I found that the interview topics were more more »

Meet Preservation Services Volunteer Bruce Weissgold

In April 2018, Bruce Weissgold began volunteering with Preservation Services in the Libraries’ Book Conservation Lab (BCL). Originally from Queens, New York, and a current resident of Virginia, Bruce recently retired after twenty-five years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) where his specialty was International Wildlife Trade Policy.

Learning the Candy Business via Mail

With Halloween just around the corner, what better time than now to search for candy catalogs in the Trade Literature Collection? As you might expect, there are many catalogs describing either the candy itself or the machinery used to make candy. One catalog takes a slightly different angle.

Smithsonian Launches Profiles of Scholarly Experts

The Smithsonian has introduced Smithsonian Profiles, a searchable directory of the Smithsonian’s scholarly experts. The Smithsonian’s dedication to research supports hundreds of staff scholars and every year it attracts more than 1,000 fellows and research associates from around the world, all of whom work within the Institution’s 19 museums, nine research centers, three cultural centers and the National Zoo. Smithsonian Profiles outlines the expertise of current Smithsonian-affiliated scholars, connecting its audiences with more »

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