Women’s History Month: Genevieve Estelle Jones

In the Libraries' wonderful Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, with an essay by Joy Kiser and introduction by Leslie K. Overstreet, we learn about Genevieve Estelle Jones and her determination to study and illustrate the birds of Ohio: At the age of twenty-nine Genevieve visited the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia where she saw an exhibition of the paintings from Audubon's Birds of America. She returned to Circleville determined to create a book that would provide the missing details of the nests and eggs of these birds. At first she envisioned illustrating the nests and eggs of all the birds in North America. But her father, daunted by the time and expense involved with such an under-taking, persuaded her to limit the number to the 130 species of birds that nested in Ohio. (Nearly all of these birds are also seen in most of the contiguous United States.) Illustrations of the nests and eggs of birds of Ohio was published in the small town of more »

Let’s go fly a kite

The Smithsonian's Kite Festival is today. Head on down to the Washington Monument and check it out. You might even see a kite like the one pictured below, from the Libraries' digital collection, Ornithologie (1773-1792) by François Nicolas Martinet [Histoire des Oiseaux Peints dans Tous Leurs Aspects Apparents et Sensibles] [Ornithology], 1773-1792. —Elizabeth Periale

Historic Smithsonian publications available

bulletinunitedst361889unit_0001Originally uploaded by Smithsonian Libraries Historic publications of the Smithsonian Institution are being scanned as part of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). There are still gaps in the series as the Libraries works with volumes that were difficult to digitize (tightly bound, containing large foldouts, etc.) Missing volumes will be completed as technology permits. The four largest of these series are currently available only through the BHL web interface. As time permits, they will be integrated into a unified Smithsonian publications site. • Bulletin – United States National Museum http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/7548• Smithsonian contributions to knowledge http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/7997• Smithsonian miscellaneous collections http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/8128• Proceedings of the United States National Museum http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/7964 An additional publication, long sponsored by the Smithsonian, is also available:• Atoll Research Bulletin http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/atollresearchbulletin/index.cfm All titles are (or will be shortly) available via the E-journal A-Z List as well as through links in the SIRIS records for the titles. —Elizabeth Periale

Turkmenistan visitors tour the Dibner Library

On March 5, Deputy Director Mary Augusta Thomas hosted Turkmenistan visitors Mr. Kerim Atahanov, Deputy Director, State Children's Library, and Mr. Rozyjuma Byashimov, Dean, Libraries and Museums Faculty, Turkmen State Institute of Culture. The two visitors were sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Head of Special Collections Lilla Vekerdy introduced them to the collections at the Dibner Library, which included Turkmen material as well as children’s books. Thomas offered the visitors an overview of the Libraries and its collections, and they discussed the Libraries' technology infrastructure, including its digital library collections, on-line library catalog and website. —Elizabeth Periale

Benjamin Franklin’s Political Arithmetic – 3

Here is a third excerpt from the Libraries' Dibner Library lecture publication, Benjamin Franklin's Political Arithmetic: A Materialist View of Humanity by Joyce E. Chaplin, the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. If you would like to receive the lecture in print, please contact the Dibner Library. If you missed the first two installments, or can't wait for the next one, you may also view the PDF. The publication has also been getting positive notice from the blogosphere. Benjamin Franklin's Political Arithmetic: A Materialist View of Humanity by Joyce E. Chaplin He encouraged the readers of Poor Richard to see for themselves the “remarkably entertaining Objects” to be seen under “that admirable Instrument the MICROSCOPE” The device would show them the tiny “Animalcules to be found…in the Infusions of Pepper, Senna, Pinks, Roses, Jessamin, Tea, Raspberry From Adams’s Micrographia illustrata . Stalks, Fennel, Sage, Melons, sour Grapes, Wheat, Hay, Straw, and almost all vegetable Substances.” A microscope would also display a polyp, the tiny aquatic more »

Women’s History Month: Tatiana Ehrenfest

Mathematician Tatiana Ehrenfest is one of many scientific portraits to be found in the Libraries' Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology: Tatiana Ehrenfest (1876-1964) The scientific portrait collection in the Dibner Library was assembled by Bern Dibner, who obtained most of the portraits during the 1940s from print dealers in Boston, London, and Paris. By 1950 he had about two thousand images and arranged them into ten scientific subdivisions: Botany, Chemistry, Electricity, Geology, Mathematics, Medicine, Philosophy, Physics, Technology, and Zoology. The portraits are of various types: woodcuts, copper and steel engravings, mezzotints, lithographs, oil paintings, and photographs. Many of them are images that were printed as separate items, used as gifts to send to colleagues and admirers. The exchange of portraits among scientists in the eighteenth century became a very popular form of correspondence. A number of prints also served as frontispieces of books and, unfortunately, a few of the prints in the collection had originally been bound as pages in books more »

Treasures from the AA/PG Library – Album of cartes-de-visite

The Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) grew out of the Smithsonian’s National Museum, later known as the “National Gallery of Art”. In 1937 the Andrew Mellon gift of art was given to the nation to form the beginning of the collection of what is now know as the National Gallery of Art. As a result, the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art became the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA). When plans were underway for the new National Portrait Gallery in 1964, the NCFA library collections were combined with those for the new Gallery. The Library collection was then developed to reflect the missions of the two museums with strong holdings in American art, as well as American history and biography. In 1980, the NCFA was renamed the “National Museum of American Art”; then in 2000 it became the “Smithsonian American Art Museum”. The AA/PG Library's collection has many special treasures in its collection which we will feature over time.  The first is a book of cartes-de-visite more »

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