Swing Into Victory! A World War II Era Garden Party Garden Party

  The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens co-host “Swing Into Victory! A World War II Era Garden Party Garden Party” Friday, May 18, at 6:00 p.m. in the Smithsonian’s Enid A. Haupt Garden and the historic Arts and Industries Building. The event celebrates the patriotic American food gardens of World War II with live music, swing dancing, canning demonstrations, activities, tastings and food and drink inspired by the era. The event is more »

A Temple of the Useful Arts: Highlights from the History of the Patent Office Building

There was always going to be something beautiful at the corner of 8th and F Streets in northwest Washington D.C. Pierre L’Enfant, in his earliest plans for the city, originally designated the site for a hall of American heroes. Nearly fifty years later, in 1836, President Andrew Jackson authorized the construction of the United States Patent Office Building as a tribute to American innovation. It was given the nickname “temple of the more »

The Fix: Welcome Ludivine Javelaud!

In February, Ludivine Javelaud began a six month internship with Preservation Services in the Libraries’ book conservation lab. Ludivine was born in Limoges in the Limousin region of France. At an early age, she discovered a love for drawing and Art and she fondly recalls regular family visits to museums, castles, and historical sites.  These experiences led her to initially consider training to become a paintings conservator and she pursued and completed more »

Exploring Our Collections with “Bill T. Jones”

This year is Smithsonian Libraries is celebrating 50 years as  a unified system. While each museum has (at least) one library dedicated research material on items related to the museum’s collection; as a branch system, The Libraries’ help researchers explore any part of a question that interests them. This sounds pretty straightforward, but what does it look like in real life? To find out, this post explore how one item from a more »

Gardens Bloom in Rare Books

For National Garden Month and our exhibition, Cultivating America’s Gardens, take a stroll through some of the botanical gems in our Special Collections. Interested in more plants and flowers? See our previous post about the Botany and Horticulture Library. Gardeners experience at first hand the wonder and pleasure – as well as the occasional mystery and frustration – to be found in the world of plants. This is true as far back more »

The Fix: Preservation Week Tips

April 23rd-29th is Preservation Week! What is Preservation Week? It is an initiative started by the American Library Association (ALA) after the Heritage Health Index Survey reported in 2005 that 80% of surveyed libraries, museums and archives have no plan for collections emergencies nor do they have staff trained in emergency response. Preservation Week is a way to remind people to plan for collections emergencies. A great place to start is with more »

Women’s Work in the Early Book Trade

In 16th-century Spain, manuals detailing the finer points of sailing and navigation were printed. It was the Age of Discovery and the country was establishing lucrative trade routes across the seas while expanding their colonial empire. Other nations were keen to tap into the Spaniards’ great expertise found in this literature, as there was little maritime information published elsewhere. Books were a means of developing knowledge of geography and voyaging to be more »

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