Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Smithsonian is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage during the month of May with films, performances, talks, tours, and family programs. The Libraries would also like to highlight some images from its U.S. Exploring Expedition digital collection.—Elizabeth Periale Tahitian Girl with the Hau, Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. Volume 4, 1845 Samoan Dance, Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. Volume 3, 1845

Meet Intern Nicole Halpern

Nicole Halpern has recently joined the Libraries for a two-month internship. A sophomore at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Halpern is working both with the Special Collections and Digital Services departments. Lilla Vekerdy and Kirsten van der Veen of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology are spending the first month with Halpern. The focus for this month seeks to answer the questions, “Why digitize? What should be digitized? How do you digitize special collections?”  Vekerdy and van der Veen will teach Halpern about traditional book structures, paper making and book production. Halpern will also learn about the preservation of the Dibner rare book collection: handling instructions and conservation aspects of the materials. She will have access to a flatbed scanner to learn about simple digitization of the manuscript collection. For the second month, Halpern will complete several special projects at the National Museum of Natural History, including digitizing with a high-tech digital camera. She will be instructed by Alvin Hutchinson and Martin Kalfatovic of the Digital more »

Mother Goose Day

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man.Bake me a cake as fast as you can;Pat it and prick it and mark it with B,Put it in the oven for baby and me. Walter Crane (1845-1915), A Romance of the Three Rs, London: Marcus Ward, 1886, Mary Stuart Book Fund —Elizabeth Periale

Edgar Allan Poe, Master of the…Mollusk?

In 1839 Haswell Barrington And Haswell of Philadelphia published The conchologist’s first book: a system of testaceous malacology, arranged expressly for the use of schools, in which the animals, according to Cuvier, are given with the shells, a great number of new species added, and the whole brought up, as accurately as possible, to the present condition of the science. by E. A. Poe.  Was Edgar Allan Poe really an amateur naturalist and mollusk enthusiast, or merely an impoverished novelist willing to do anything (even plagiarism!) for a buck? In fact, Poe was hired to write the preface and introduction, and to translate from the French Georges Cuvier’s descriptions of the animals, but it was Thomas Wyatt who originally wrote the textbook on conchology. In later years, Poe was accused of plagiarism (by his biographer and literary executor R. W. Griswold) but it seems that attributing the authorship to Poe was likely done to increase interest in the title and to avoid copyright issues with Wyatt’s original publisher, Harper & more »

Chauncey Bradley Ives carte-de-visite – AA/PG Library

recto: Chauncey B. Ives (born Hamden, CT, 1810; died Rome, Italy,1894) verso: Carte-de-visite photography studio: Ferrando Photographic Studio, Rome, Italy Chauncey Ives was one of the most popular American sculptors in the last half of the 19th century who worked in the neoclassical style (a style based on the classical works of ancient Greece and Rome). Ives began his career by first sculpting portrait busts and by age thirty he moved to Boston where he was a notable portrait sculptor. After moving to New York where he exhibited at the National Academy of Design, he fell ill and traveled to Florence, Italy for his health. There he met other American sculptors such as Horatio Greenough and Hiram Powers, arguably the most famous American neoclassical sculptor. Exposure to Florence's art treasures encouraged Ives to experiment with classical subjects while continuing to produce portraits. In 1851, Ives moved to Rome where the classical influences of the city were reflected in the idealism of his sculpture.  His works continued to be popular in more »

New notable additions to AA/PG library in April

Moran, Michael F.  Striking Change: The Great Artistic Collaboration of Theodore Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  Atlanta: Whitman, 2008.  432 p.  N40.1.S13 M67 2008 Instrumental in creation of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, President Theodore Roosevelt was also a strong supporter of American artists.  This interest in art was also key in his decision to redesign all United States coins in 1905 after meeting with the great American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  Saint-Gaudens’s commission resulted in some of the most collectible coins from the United States: the $10 Miss Liberty in an Indian headdress and the $20 gold double eagle. This book provides new look at the life of Saint-Gaudens and the partnership he created with Theodore Roosevelt to reinvigorate the coinage of the United States. Cozzolino, Robert, Marshall N. Price, and M. Melissa Wolfe.  George Tooker.  London: Merrell, 2008.  191 p. N40.1.T669 N38 2008 The works of George Tooker (born 1920) are both beautiful and haunting. Associated with the American Magic Realism style which bucked the increasing popularity of abstraction in more »

Heralds of Science

The Libraries would like to showcase a few images from its Heralds of Science collection today. Many of the titles can be found in this online show or by searching through Galaxy of Images. Jan van der Straet, Nova reperta. Speculum diuersarum imaginum speculatiuarum., 1638 Stephen Hales, Vegetable Staticks: or, An Account of Some Statistical Experiments on the Sap in Vegetables, 1727

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