Libraries Accepting Resident Scholar Applications for 2010

The Libraries will award grants to Dibner Library Resident Scholars and Baird Society Resident Scholars in the 2010 academic year. These competitive short-term grants are offered for one to six months to historians, librarians and bibliographers, as well as predoctoral and postdoctoral students, with an approved research project.  The scholars will complete their residencies at one or more of the Smithsonian Libraries’ 20 branches for various lengths of time throughout the year. Dibner Library Resident Scholars will do research in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology in the National Museum of American History. The Dibner Library specializes in the physical sciences and technology, and holds over 25,000 rare books and 10,000 manuscripts covering a wide variety of subject areas and time periods, particularly in mathematics, astronomy, classical and Renaissance natural philosophy, theoretical physics, experimental physics, engineering and scientific apparatus and instruments. The collections range from early printed works of ancient Greek and medieval scholars through the Renaissance and Early Modern eras up through the nineteenth century. more »

Product Development & Licensing at the Smithsonian Libraries

Although you may be familiar with the gift shop note cards and calendars bearing Smithsonian Libraries images, did you know that you can buy a leather chair inspired by National Museum of American History trade literature or a rug based on designs found in the Dibner Library?  By working with the Smithsonian Enterprises’ Product Development and Licensing (PD&L) team, the Libraries has had the opportunity to collaborate with vendors on a wide variety of product lines – including fireplace accessories from Pilgrim Hearth and Lenox figurines. How does an image become a product? PD&L develops relationships with vendors that they feel will uphold the integrity of the Smithsonian brand and often invites product designers to visit the Institution, giving them an opportunity to find further inspiration and explore the hidden treasures in our collections. For Libraries material, this could mean poring over a table full of trade literature or viewing rare botanical titles in the Cullman Library. The designers come armed with digital cameras to quickly capture illustrations that catch more »

Up, up and away!

Portrait of Felix Nadar (1820-1910), Photographer and Aeronautical ScientistOriginally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution This intriguing character has captured quite an audience on Flickr. To learn more about Felix Nadar, read our recent blog post on the Smithsonian Photography Initiative's blog, The Bigger Picture. —Erin Clements Rushing

There’s a New Deputy in Town!

The Libraries is pleased to announce Mary Augusta Thomas as the new Deputy Director.  Before accepting this position, Thomas served as Associate Director for Reader Services and Strategic Planning, a post she held since 2002. Thomas’s new responsibilities include directing the operation of the Libraries’ twenty branches in each of the museum and research institutes, working with Smithsonian staff on library planning issues to support the mission of the Smithsonian, and directing the administrative services department for the Libraries. Thomas has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her 33 years of employment at the Smithsonian Institution. Her prior positions at the Libraries include Assistant Director for Management and Technical Services, Assistant Director for the Management and Systems Division and Manager to the Planning and Administration Office. She currently holds exclusive pan-institutional assignments as a member of both the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee and the Smithsonian Institution Executive Leadership Development Program. Active in the local and national library community, Thomas has served as councilor-at-large for two terms at the American Library Association (1999-2003, more »

Botanica Magnifica

As a follow up to our post from last week…you can watch the CBS News Sunday Morning segment on Botanica Magnifica  in an eight minute clip on YouTube. Enjoy!—Liz O'Brien

Happy 302nd to Leonhard Euler!

Leonhard Euler, an eminent mathematician and physicist, was born this day, April 15, in 1707, in Basel, Switzerland. According to Ronald S. Calinger, a Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC who specializes in the history of mathematics, and Leonhard Euler in particular, Euler can be considered “the presiding mathematical genius of the Enlightenment.” Dr. Calinger was a Dibner Library Resident Scholar in 2007, during which he made substantial use of the Dibner's rare materials by Euler and his contemporaries while working on a full scale scientific and biographical study of Euler, the first such work in English. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting in February 2009, Calinger organized a symposium focusing on Euler and his achievements, From Enlightenment Lunar Theories to the Discovery of Extra Solar Planets. His presentation relied in part on research done during his term as a Dibner scholar. Calinger and students from two of his Catholic University classes come to the Dibner today, Euler’s birthday – a coincidence! more »

Buon Compleanno Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci was born today in Vinci, Florence in 1452. The Libraries has books throughout  its many locations featuring this unique artist and inventor's interests in art, science, architecture and anatomy – just to name a few of his passions: Leonardo da Vinci : the artist, inventor, scientist in three-dimensional, movable pictures / / by A. & M. Provensen. Paper engineering by John Strejan.Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Library, New York, New York (image above) The curves of life : being an account of spiral formations and their application to growth in nature, to science, and to art : with special reference to the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci / / by Theodore Andrea Cook.National Museum of Natural History Library, Washington, D.C. Man with wings; the story of Leonardo de Vinci, / by Joseph Cottler.National Air and Space Museum Library, Washington, D.C. The inventions of Leonardo da Vinci / / Margaret Cooper.National Museum of American History Library, Washington, D.C. Leonardo da Vinci on plants and gardens / / William A. more »

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