Explore the Freer/Sackler Bookshelf

Discover the wealth of information contained in the Freer and Sackler Galleries’ digitized publications. Spanning from 1753 to the present, these catalogues, journals, and manuscripts contain expert insights on a full spectrum of Asian art, culture, and history, as well as on American art and the history of the Galleries themselves.  

Jihad in 19th Century Sudan, Part II

Egypt, Sudan, and Jihad are much in the news today. What follows is a brief overview of some of the history behind the news. We began with “Part I: The Mahdi’s world: Social and Political Conditions”. This installment, Part II, will be followed by “Part III: The Mahdi:  The Rise and Fall of the Mahdist State”. This blog series was written by Judith Schaefer, volunteer in the Warren M. Robbins Library, National more »

The Fix: Pest Damage

A book, The Flying Spy,  from the National Air and Space Museum Library came to the Book Conservation Lab with a unique, though not exactly rare, problem: Pest Damage.   As book lovers and good library patrons, we all know the importance of the proper handling of books. For example, we know to store them properly (up off the floor, away from damp conditions), handle them gently, and to not eat nor more »

Significant donation from the Art Students League of New York

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.

A Concealed Reality: Léopold Sédar Senghor’s years in captivity

 The blog post was written by Xavier Courouble for the Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s release from World War II internment camps.   A Concealed Reality: Léopold Sédar Senghor’s years in captivity “Il faut longtemps, très longtemps, pour que resurgisse à la lumière ce qui a été effacé”[1] –Patrick Modiano, in Dora Bruder, 1997 In more »

Paul Laurence Dunbar: from “elevator boy” to accomplished poet

This post was written by Brittney Falter, a graduate student at George Mason University and social media intern at the Smithsonian Libraries. Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 27, 1872 to two former slaves. His father was enslaved in Kentucky but escaped and served in the Massachusetts 55th Regiment during the Civil War. Dunbar attended public school and was taught to read by his mother. He was the more »

Decorative Touches for the Late 19th Century Home

Imagine yourself in the late 19th Century. Maybe you just sat down to watch a game of croquet on your lawn while chatting with some friends. This trade catalog from 1875 includes an item that might have been useful for that very thing.

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