The Fix: The Full Treatment

In conservation we use the term “full treatment” to describe when a book requires dis-binding the textblock, washing the pages, performing paper repair, re-sewing the sections, and replacing the boards and cover. In other words, it has received the maximum level of conservation care. As part of our Adopt-a-Book program, John Hill’s 1782 A History of Animals, from The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, arrived in the Book Conservation more »

Happy Holidays from Smithsonian Libraries!

We wish you warmth and joy this holiday season! The book featured in this video is Tokaido gojusantsugi by Hiroshige Ando published in 1868. The translated title is 53 Stations of the Tokaido, a series of woodcut prints showing stations on the Tokaido road that linked Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). It is one of the many Japanese illustrated books from the Edo and Meiji periods that were scanned this year.

Smithsonian Libraries Presents: 50th Anniversary Lecture Series

  In 2018, the Smithsonian Libraries will celebrate 50 years as a unified library system. In honor of this special anniversary, the Libraries will host a lecture series celebrating the history of the Smithsonian and the role that books and literature have played in its growth over the years. These lectures are free and open to the public with the first on January 18th, 2018 (details below). We invite you to come more »

Smithsonian Libraries – Opportunities for Research 2018-2019

The Smithsonian Libraries, situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. The Libraries offers exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. We are happy to offer the following fellowship opportunities for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program: $3,500 per month for up to six months to support scholarly research in the more »

Soldini’s Commentary on the Souls of Animals

This post was written by Daniel Euphrat, Digital Imaging Technician and Leslie K. Overstreet, Curator of Natural-History Rare Books. The title of the book De anima brutorum commentaria by Francesco Maria Soldini translates to Commentary on the Souls of Animals in English and the text is about exactly that topic. When it came to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History in 2015, it was a rather unusual and curious more »

Teratology in the Dibner: The Beckwith-Browning Collection

The Smithsonian Libraries’ Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology has received a significant book collection donated by J. Bruce Beckwith, MD, notable pediatrician, bibliographer, and book collector. The donation encompasses ca. 800 titles, most of them rare, in the field of teratology. Teratology, the science of birth defects, pediatric anomalies, malformations in humans, animals and plants—as the main subject of a rare book collection—understandably generates some resistance in some more »

The Great Halifax Explosion

Along with time, humankind invariably changes the landscape. The geography and a series of events and errors that occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 6th, 1917, contributed to the most catastrophic and dramatic man-made violence to a surrounding area and its inhabitants before the Atomic Age. In the annals of disasters of the 20th century, including the Great War, the explosion that occurred at the Canadian harbor was particularly horrifying and more »

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