Movable London

Elizabeth Broman and Julia Blakely co-authored this post The plot of the recent film, “Paddington 2,” revolves around a one-of-a-kind pop-up book. In a wonderful scene, the good-souled, marmalade-loving bear is transported after opening the covers to movable parts within, unfurling into a dream of London (link here). Paddington declares it is the perfect gift (“like she were finally here”) for his adored Aunt Lucy in “Darkest Peru.” The volume is for more »

A 72 Day Tour

School is back in session. Summer vacations are over. However, if you lived in 1892 and had the means to afford it, your vacation might have just started. And it might have lasted 72 days!

Help Support the Warren M. Robbins Library’s Graphic Novel and Comic Book Collection

“The African Art Library has been collecting African cartoons, comic books and graphic novels for more than a decade,” says Janet Stanley, librarian at the Warren M. Robbins Library at the National Museum of African Art. “Being illustrative works by African artists, as well as harbingers of popular culture, these comics & graphics books are very much part of the visual culture of Africa. We are working to build this collection.” The more »

Vintage Cookbooks and Pre-Cataloging: Working with our Culinary Historians of Washington Collection

This post was written by Olivia Robertson, summer intern at the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex and student at Goucher College.  As an intern at the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SLRA), I worked creating gift-in-hand records for a collection of books donated by the Culinary Historians of Washington D.C. (CHoW). Making a gift-in-hand record is the first step in cataloging an item. This happens just after a library receives the item, while the more »

An Informed Consumer… Shopping with Thérèse Bonney in Paris.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library owns over 4,000 photographs by American photographer and journalist Thérèse Bonney, (1894-1978), who documented life in Paris from 1925-35. In 1929, she and her sister Louise created A Shopping Guide to Paris,  for the “350,000 Americans who visit Paris every year.” The foreword says, “dozens of books have been written telling you what to see, but we are writing about where to buy, … buying is as important as sightseeing in this enchanting city.”     An American woman shopping for Paris fashions might have felt overwhelmed by the many small boutiques and fashion houses. Thérèse and Louise Bonney outlined in great detail the procedure and etiquette of visiting couturiers and buying dresses and coats, as well as the separate boutiques for hats, gloves, leather goods, and other accessories. These tips made shopping less intimidating and reassured the American traveler that they could be as knowledgeable, sophisticated and as chic as the French woman. Advice on who the top name fashion houses were, the chapters devoted more »

100 names: cataloging in Library of Congress Name Authority File

Most people don’t know what the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) is, but if you ever search for works by your favorite author or research an individual in a library catalog, you have used its records.  The records assure that materials by or about the same entity can be grouped in the library catalog, even if an entity has used different names.  This might not sound that impressive, until you more »

Chaptour Guides: Expanding the Museum Experience Through Teen Engagement

This post was written by Olivia Wisnewski, Education Intern for Summer 2018. As anyone who has ever parented, taught or spoken to a teenager can tell you, teenagers can be difficult. From the snarky kid at the grocery checkout to the herd of teens glued to their phones on the sidewalk, it’s easy to see why some people dread social situations with unknown teenagers. But what if we could turn that notion more »

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