Beer on Board in the Age of Sail

Brewing and seafaring are mainstays of ancient human endeavors. Beer was first fermented by at least the 5th millennium BC in Mesopotamia. From the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of the Fertile Crescent, the grain beverage either traveled along trade routes or was spontaneously developed in other ancient civilizations (including Egyptian, Grecian, Roman, Norse, Aztec, Chinese) before landing in northern Europe in the early medieval period. Producing beer became a more »

‘The whole man at once:’ Scientific identities at the Dibner Library – Maria Gaetana Agnesi

“George Sarton, a founder of the history of science as an academic discipline, argued that scholars should pay close attention to portraits. These images, he said, can give you ‘the whole man at once.’ With a ‘great portrait,’ Sarton believed, ‘you are given immediately some fundamental knowledge of him, which even the longest descriptions and discussions would fail to evoke.’ Sarton’s ideas led Bern Dibner to purchase portrait prints of men and more »

The Comforts of Camping

When we think of summer, many of us think of traveling and vacations. The Trade Literature Collection includes quite a bit of travel related catalogs. As you might expect, there are catalogs advertising luggage and ones showing different modes of travel, like steamships or the railway. There are also catalogs about camping and everything you would need for a vacation in the outdoors.

Finding family ties in the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library

On a rainy April morning, Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board member Amy Threefoot Valeiras and her family visited the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG). What they found surprised everyone! Anne Evenhaugen and Alexandra Reigle, staff at the AA/PG Library, selected a variety of books and artists’ books to show our visitors. One of these was a carte de visite book, featuring photographic trading cards for nineteenth-century American painters. (What is a more »

I See Wonder: Education and Evaluation

This post was written by Louise To, Professional Development intern in the Smithsonian Libraries’ Education Department. Interesting in interning with our Education Department? Apply for a virtual opportunity before July 26th. Hi. I’m Louise. I’m currently completing a dual-degree Master’s program in Learning Design and Technology (M.Ed.) and Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Newly Digitized: Japanese Illustrated Books from the Edo and Meiji Periods (1600-1912)

The Freer | Sackler Library of the Smithsonian Libraries have completed digitizing over 1100 volumes/41500 images from its collection of illustrated Japanese woodblock-printed books and manuscripts from the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912). The Libraries’ digitization project was generously funded by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.

Fall 2017 Internship Opportunities

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the world’s largest museum library? Now is your chance! For Fall 2017, the Smithsonian Libraries will host internships through three distinct programs:

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