Women’s History Month: Grace Rogers Cooper

The Libraries' The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development is a wonderful digital edition of the classic by Grace Rogers Cooper. From the introduction by Barbara Suit Janssen, Museum Specialist, Textile Collection, Natural Museum of American History: The Smithsonian Institution's mission of "diffusion of knowledge" is well suited to this web publication of a museum reference work. This pairing with the sewing machine trade literature already available in Sewing Machines: Historical Trade Literature in Smithsonian Collections adds the documented history of sewing machines to its paper ephemera. Cooper's book provides a photographic guide to significant sewing machines and patent models in the collections of the National Museum of American History. Grace Rogers Cooper was the curator of the Division of Textiles from 1948 to 1976. She was responsible for many exhibitions on textile history, including the opening show in the new National Museum of History and Technology in 1964 (now the National Museum of American History.) She was also the author of The Copp Family Textiles, 1971, and Thirteen-Star Flags: more »

Smithsonian Contributions

The Libraries has been digitizing the entire corpus of Smithsonian serial publications for the past few years. We’re getting very near to completion of the first phase of the project, but there will always be more to do! The first phase in this effort was digitizing the new “Smithsonian Contributions” series. These are now complete (with new publications being added upon publication by the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press) and include the following series: Smithsonian Annals of Flight (1964 – 1974) Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology (1965 – present) Smithsonian Contributions to Astrophysics (1956 – 1974) Botanical Series Contributions to Botany (1969-present) Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology (1969 – present ; formerly Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology) Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology (1969 – present) Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences (1969 – 2002) Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences (1977 – present) Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology (1969 – present) Smithsonian Folklife Studies (1980 – 1990) Smithsonian Studies in Air and Space (1977 – 1990) All above publications are available at: more »

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 »

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