Spring 2018 Internships

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the world’s largest museum library? Now is your chance! For Spring 2018, the Smithsonian Libraries will host internships in four diverse areas. Read below for more details and visit our Internship page for additional information and application instructions.     Modern and Contemporary Art, A to Z The Smithsonian Institution Libraries artists’ files are an exceptional resource for art historical research. The more »

A Zinnia Grows in Space

National Garden Month blasts off with zinnias, written by Robin Everly and Julia Blakely. Smithsonian Libraries, most days, is like a typical library system — we assist staff and visitors with information needs, purchase books, check in journal issues, digitize, catalog, and of course, shelve books. However, the Smithsonian being the Smithsonian, sometimes your ordinary day turns upside down into something else. It’s what makes working here so fun and interesting. Such a day occurred November 10, 2016, when a Smithsonian Gardens’ horticulturist contacted our librarian in the Botany and Horticulture Department about attractive 19th-century books featuring information about zinnias. He was working with a National Air and Space Museum (NASM) film crew on an educational program about Astronaut Scott Kelly’s growing zinnias on the International Space Station (ISS). The botanical librarian, along with our catalog librarian in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, came up with some stunning botanical illustrations and set up a display in the rare book reading room for the filmmakers. From these more »

“Every one knows what a bird is.” Or do they?

This post was written by intern Becca Greenstein. Becca is currently pursuing her Master’s in Library Science at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  She has always had a passion for research, teaching/helping others and seeing the direct impact of her work, and collaboration across departments and institutions (and, of course, reading), so library school has been a good fit for her.  After she graduates, she hopes to continue honing these skills while more »

Salad Days (and Months) in Rare Books

My salad days, when I was green in judgement This common, if well-worn, phrase first appeared in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra of 1606. At the end of Act One of the play, recalling a youthful affair with Julius Caesar, Cleopatra refers to a time of innocence, silliness or indiscretions. Since May is National Salad Month, let us celebrate the greens by looking at the work of another Englishman, John Evelyn (1620-1706). His more »

Seeking the Ferns of Southern Mexico: on Oliver Sacks neurologist, bestselling author, and botanist

This post was written by Robin Everly, librarian in the Botany and Horticulture Library, with Spencer Goyette, contractor in the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Botany. Working in the Botany and Horticulture library, I’m still surprised by the books I come across that I haven’t heard about. So when I came across Oaxaca Journal what caught my eye was the author’s name on the book’s spine- Oliver Sacks. Immediately, I more »

Celebrating floral design in the Botany-Horticulture Library

This post was written by Robin Everly, Botany-Horticulture Library. Did you know that Saturday, February 28 is Floral Design Day and the day itself has been around for 20 years? The day was created to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, who founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, Massachusetts and was a leader in floral art education.  Fittingly, it was enacted by official proclamation by then Governor William more »

Researching Floras for the Botany – Horticulture Library

This post was written by Alice Doolittle, a 2011 summer intern on the Botany-Horticulture Library. Interested in working with us this summer? Now is the time to apply! Visit our internship webpage. Applications close April 30th.  For a biologist who is also an aspiring librarian, what could be better than to spend the summer in the stacks within the National Museum of Natural History? During the summer of 2011, I spent several weeks at the Botany – Horticulture Library as a Professional Development Intern for Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

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