Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives is a system of 21 branch libraries and an institutional archives that support the current work of the institution and researchers around the world.
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Welcome to our page! We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent wit

Welcome to our page! We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent wit

Operating as usual

Careful as you plan those weekend celebrations 🎆Take a look back at late 19th and early 20th century fireworks advertisi...
07/02/2021

Careful as you plan those weekend celebrations 🎆

Take a look back at late 19th and early 20th century fireworks advertising from our National Museum of American History Library collections, when safety wasn't exactly a priority: https://s.si.edu/3jyTUHm

Careful as you plan those weekend celebrations 🎆

Take a look back at late 19th and early 20th century fireworks advertising from our National Museum of American History Library collections, when safety wasn't exactly a priority: https://s.si.edu/3jyTUHm

Amelia Earhart was last seen on this day in 1937. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific which attempting to circumnavigat...
07/02/2021

Amelia Earhart was last seen on this day in 1937. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific which attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Her last trip was memorialized by this 1939 score in our Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music: https://s.si.edu/2CUhRWq

Bella Landauer is one of many collectors featured in our online exhibition "Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect": https://library.si.edu/exhibition/magnificent-obsessions

Amelia Earhart was last seen on this day in 1937. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific which attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Her last trip was memorialized by this 1939 score in our Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music: https://s.si.edu/2CUhRWq

Bella Landauer is one of many collectors featured in our online exhibition "Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect": https://library.si.edu/exhibition/magnificent-obsessions

🪱 For  International Polychaete Day, we're bowing down to the King Ragworm. These annelids live in shallow, brackish wat...
07/01/2021

🪱 For International Polychaete Day, we're bowing down to the King Ragworm. These annelids live in shallow, brackish water and can grow up to 120 cm.

This illustration by Roberta McIntosh was published in "A monograph of the British marine annelids". v.2, pt.2 (1910). Find it in Biodiversity Heritage Library : https://s.si.edu/3jyIymD

🪱 For International Polychaete Day, we're bowing down to the King Ragworm. These annelids live in shallow, brackish water and can grow up to 120 cm.

This illustration by Roberta McIntosh was published in "A monograph of the British marine annelids". v.2, pt.2 (1910). Find it in Biodiversity Heritage Library : https://s.si.edu/3jyIymD

Good things come in small packages! Which means our conservators have to verrrrry carefully flatten and unfold them . . ...
06/30/2021

Good things come in small packages! Which means our conservators have to verrrrry carefully flatten and unfold them . . .

Last week, we introduced you to the Hungerford Deed, which reveals the story behind an inheritance received by Elizabeth Macie, James Smithson’s mother. When Smithsonian Institution Archives received the Hungerford Deed it was folded into a tight package that resisted opening. Careful unfolding and treatment revealed a full indenture tripartite, or a contract between three parties, from the years 1769, 1773, and 1787.

This year, in honor of the Smithsonian’s 175th Anniversary, you have an opportunity to support the Deed and this important conservation work. Learn more about the Stewards of the Hungerford Deed: https://s.si.edu/DeedStewards

Good things come in small packages! Which means our conservators have to verrrrry carefully flatten and unfold them . . .

Last week, we introduced you to the Hungerford Deed, which reveals the story behind an inheritance received by Elizabeth Macie, James Smithson’s mother. When Smithsonian Institution Archives received the Hungerford Deed it was folded into a tight package that resisted opening. Careful unfolding and treatment revealed a full indenture tripartite, or a contract between three parties, from the years 1769, 1773, and 1787.

This year, in honor of the Smithsonian’s 175th Anniversary, you have an opportunity to support the Deed and this important conservation work. Learn more about the Stewards of the Hungerford Deed: https://s.si.edu/DeedStewards

🔥On a scale of "Blaze Orange" to "Corona Magenta", how hot is it today? This handy chart of fluorescents is from the "Th...
06/30/2021

🔥On a scale of "Blaze Orange" to "Corona Magenta", how hot is it today?

This handy chart of fluorescents is from the "The Day-Glo® Designer’s Guide" (1969), in our Cooper Hewitt Library. It helped designers understand and use these wild new hues.

Learn more on our blog: https://s.si.edu/2QaC3X6

🔥On a scale of "Blaze Orange" to "Corona Magenta", how hot is it today?

This handy chart of fluorescents is from the "The Day-Glo® Designer’s Guide" (1969), in our Cooper Hewitt Library. It helped designers understand and use these wild new hues.

Learn more on our blog: https://s.si.edu/2QaC3X6

What you see, you get for National Camera Day 🎥 A strange concept in these times of filters and CGI! This catalog of mot...
06/29/2021

What you see, you get for National Camera Day 🎥 A strange concept in these times of filters and CGI!

This catalog of motion picture cameras comes from Bell & Howell Motion in the early 1900s. The company was founded in Wheeling, Illinois in 1907 by two film projectionists. They were known early on for manufacturing projectors but also made film cameras, including a model used by Charlie Chaplin.

From our Image Gallery: https://s.si.edu/3jpbg9r

What you see, you get for National Camera Day 🎥 A strange concept in these times of filters and CGI!

This catalog of motion picture cameras comes from Bell & Howell Motion in the early 1900s. The company was founded in Wheeling, Illinois in 1907 by two film projectionists. They were known early on for manufacturing projectors but also made film cameras, including a model used by Charlie Chaplin.

From our Image Gallery: https://s.si.edu/3jpbg9r

Photographer James Van der Zee was born on this day in 1886. Van der Zee documented the glam of the Harlem Renaissance g...
06/29/2021

Photographer James Van der Zee was born on this day in 1886. Van der Zee documented the glam of the Harlem Renaissance glitterati as well as the warmth of every day families.

Exhibition brochures like these, from our American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, offer a glimpse of Van der Zee's work. Explore more: https://s.si.edu/2BdmSbQ

Acrostic titles,  inconsistent names, and wonky OCR. These are just a few of the problems you might encounter when creat...
06/28/2021

Acrostic titles, inconsistent names, and wonky OCR. These are just a few of the problems you might encounter when creating article-level metadata for a digitized journal or magazine.

On our blog, find out how former intern Katerina overcame these obstacles to improve help access to "Animal Keepers’ Forum", an important resource for zookeepers around the world, in Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://s.si.edu/2SwMY2i

Acrostic titles, inconsistent names, and wonky OCR. These are just a few of the problems you might encounter when creating article-level metadata for a digitized journal or magazine.

On our blog, find out how former intern Katerina overcame these obstacles to improve help access to "Animal Keepers’ Forum", an important resource for zookeepers around the world, in Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://s.si.edu/2SwMY2i

Not everyone can travel to Spain this summer, but we can all enjoy the vibrancy of its tiles. This catalog of tile desig...
06/28/2021

Not everyone can travel to Spain this summer, but we can all enjoy the vibrancy of its tiles. This catalog of tile designs offered by the firm of Miguel Nolla, or Mosaico Nolla, features hand-colored plates. Each sample is painted over a grid-pattern, with ink manuscript identification numbers.

Grab some sangria and flip though in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/2FDrLL2

Poet and author Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on this day in 1872, one of the first Black authors to enjoy commercial su...
06/27/2021

Poet and author Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on this day in 1872, one of the first Black authors to enjoy commercial success and broad literary acclaim.

Dunbar was an interpreter of the African American folk experience in literature and song. His style incorporated both standard English prose and an authentic African American dialect that represented the traditions he was surrounded by as a child.

Read Dunbar's works in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/2Xi3CjF

Dunbar's "Poems of Cabin and Field" (1899), featured here, was gifted to the Smithsonian Libraries by Charles Beyah and featured in our current exhibition, "Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect": https://library.si.edu/exhibition/magnificent-obsessions

🛶  We're celebrating National Canoe Day with the outdoorsy masthead of "The American Canoeist". It was published by the ...
06/26/2021

🛶 We're celebrating National Canoe Day with the outdoorsy masthead of "The American Canoeist". It was published by the American Canoe Association, beginning in 1882.

Find the first five volumes in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/3h2eVar

🛶 We're celebrating National Canoe Day with the outdoorsy masthead of "The American Canoeist". It was published by the American Canoe Association, beginning in 1882.

Find the first five volumes in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/3h2eVar

🌸 Happy #FloralFriday from a few of the many (many!) flower plates in "Vilmorin's Blumengärtnerei" (1896). This German g...
06/25/2021

🌸 Happy #FloralFriday from a few of the many (many!) flower plates in "Vilmorin's Blumengärtnerei" (1896).

This German gardening compendium was issued in 50 parts, over the course of two years with hundreds of illustrations.

Find it in Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://s.si.edu/3gYiDmV

The Smithsonian was founded nearly 175 years ago by a gift from English scientist James Smithson. The Hungerford Deed, r...
06/25/2021

The Smithsonian was founded nearly 175 years ago by a gift from English scientist James Smithson. The Hungerford Deed, recently donated to Smithsonian Institution Archives has added immeasurable depth to our understanding of our founding, revealing the story behind an inheritance received by Elizabeth Macie, Smithson’s mother.

The Deed not only sheds light on the origins of Smithson’s fortune, but also helps us understand the motivation behind his donation for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” More from Smithsonian Institution Archives blog: https://s.si.edu/35N7gri

📨 Join our newsletter and email list to stay in the loop about conservation work, exhibition planning, and highlights about the Hungerford Deed's connections to the Smithsonian legacy: https://library.si.edu/newsletter

The Smithsonian was founded nearly 175 years ago by a gift from English scientist James Smithson. The Hungerford Deed, recently donated to Smithsonian Institution Archives has added immeasurable depth to our understanding of our founding, revealing the story behind an inheritance received by Elizabeth Macie, Smithson’s mother.

The Deed not only sheds light on the origins of Smithson’s fortune, but also helps us understand the motivation behind his donation for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” More from Smithsonian Institution Archives blog: https://s.si.edu/35N7gri

📨 Join our newsletter and email list to stay in the loop about conservation work, exhibition planning, and highlights about the Hungerford Deed's connections to the Smithsonian legacy: https://library.si.edu/newsletter

🌕 Tonight's full moon will offer a great view of lunar nooks and crannies. In 1610, Galileo's “Sidereus Nuncius” ("Starr...
06/24/2021

🌕 Tonight's full moon will offer a great view of lunar nooks and crannies.

In 1610, Galileo's “Sidereus Nuncius” ("Starry Messenger") described his new telescopic observations, including mountains and valleys on the face of the moon that had never been published before.

Find Galileo's monumental work online in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/3hVu5Ah

🌕 Tonight's full moon will offer a great view of lunar nooks and crannies.

In 1610, Galileo's “Sidereus Nuncius” ("Starry Messenger") described his new telescopic observations, including mountains and valleys on the face of the moon that had never been published before.

Find Galileo's monumental work online in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/3hVu5Ah

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, U.S. botanist Bohumil Shimek was conducting field work in Germany and Austria-Hu...
06/24/2021

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, U.S. botanist Bohumil Shimek was conducting field work in Germany and Austria-Hungary. Amid scribbled notes about plants and shells, Shimek detailed the rising tensions, including speaking to friends with family members drafted into service, encountering wounded soldiers, and struggling with shortages of supplies in towns.

For #NationalCampingMonth, read about Shimek’s personal reactions to the war in his Field Books from our Smithsonian Institution Archives → s.si.edu/3gNhXAA

06/23/2021
Ask a Conservator: Emergency Management

Cultural heritage is not renewable. If books, documents, pieces of art, or any other ephemera are destroyed in a fire, for example, they are likely lost forever. Librarians and archivists have a long history of responding to and preparing for the kinds of emergencies and disasters, both natural and human-inflicted, that threaten these important resources for economic development and tourism, as well as knowledge, creativity, and a sense of historically connected identity.

In our next "Ask a Conservator" program, Nora Lockshin, senior conservator, and Katie Wagner, senior book conservator, will share how they plan for and respond to potential emergency situations that could pose risks to the safety of our precious collections at the Smithsonian and those of our fellow cultural institutions around the country. They’ll also discuss how they are called on to assist with protecting and recovering cultural heritage around the world. And as always, there will be plenty of time for your questions!

⏰ LIVE in one hour! Join us and Smithsonian Institution Archives  right here on Facebook at 5 pm ET to learn more about ...
06/23/2021

⏰ LIVE in one hour!

Join us and Smithsonian Institution Archives right here on Facebook at 5 pm ET to learn more about how our conservators respond to emergencies, at the Smithsonian and around the world.

Our FacebookSmithsonian Institution Archives cebook.com/SmithsonianLibraries/live_videos

More information about this event: https://library.si.edu/event/emergency-management

Can't make it? No worries! The recorded video will be available on Facebook and YouTube after the event.

⏰ LIVE in one hour!

Join us and Smithsonian Institution Archives right here on Facebook at 5 pm ET to learn more about how our conservators respond to emergencies, at the Smithsonian and around the world.

Our FacebookSmithsonian Institution Archives cebook.com/SmithsonianLibraries/live_videos

More information about this event: https://library.si.edu/event/emergency-management

Can't make it? No worries! The recorded video will be available on Facebook and YouTube after the event.

We're pretty in pink today for National Flamingo Day 🦩This illustration comes from "Museum Leverianum" (1792-1796), avai...
06/23/2021

We're pretty in pink today for National Flamingo Day 🦩

This illustration comes from "Museum Leverianum" (1792-1796), available in Biodiversity Heritage Library: http://s.si.edu/2xO0eCU

The book documents specimens found in Sir Ashton Lever's museum. Some more accurately than others. Learn more on the
Biodiversity Heritage Library blog: http://s.si.edu/2hzl6Ia

We're pretty in pink today for National Flamingo Day 🦩

This illustration comes from "Museum Leverianum" (1792-1796), available in Biodiversity Heritage Library: http://s.si.edu/2xO0eCU

The book documents specimens found in Sir Ashton Lever's museum. Some more accurately than others. Learn more on the
Biodiversity Heritage Library blog: http://s.si.edu/2hzl6Ia

This 12-pointed star is a color sphere developed by Professor Johannes Itten as a tool for students at the Bauhaus. You ...
06/22/2021

This 12-pointed star is a color sphere developed by Professor Johannes Itten as a tool for students at the Bauhaus.

You can find it, as well as typographical designs by Itten, in "Utopia. I-II : Dokumente der Wirklichkeit", a book in our Cooper Hewitt Library.

Also available online in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/2S8sVar

This purrfect pair come from our digitized copies of “The Inland Printer” 🐈‍⬛ 🐈:
06/22/2021

This purrfect pair come from our digitized copies of “The Inland Printer” 🐈‍⬛ 🐈:

This Monday mood comes the August 1897 issue of The Inland Printer, a printing industry magazine. You can explore digitized issues in Smithsonian Libraries and Archives: https://s.si.edu/3gPj1Te

By "roughing it", we mean we only bake *3* pies per meal at our campsite 🥧. This trade catalog from Chicago-based Murray...
06/21/2021

By "roughing it", we mean we only bake *3* pies per meal at our campsite 🥧.

This trade catalog from Chicago-based Murray & Baker offers a glimpse at camping & outdoor goods in the late nineteenth century.

Explore more for National Camping Month: https://s.si.edu/3cLFi3b

By "roughing it", we mean we only bake *3* pies per meal at our campsite 🥧.

This trade catalog from Chicago-based Murray & Baker offers a glimpse at camping & outdoor goods in the late nineteenth century.

Explore more for National Camping Month: https://s.si.edu/3cLFi3b

🗓️ In just two days, we'll explore emergency management of cultural heritage collections!In our next online event on Jun...
06/21/2021

🗓️ In just two days, we'll explore emergency management of cultural heritage collections!

In our next online event on June 23rd at 5 pm ET, our conservators will explain how they respond to disasters, in our spaces and through Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative efforts.

Details ➡️ https://s.si.edu/3inVefr

🗓️ In just two days, we'll explore emergency management of cultural heritage collections!

In our next online event on June 23rd at 5 pm ET, our conservators will explain how they respond to disasters, in our spaces and through Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative efforts.

Details ➡️ https://s.si.edu/3inVefr

Welcome to summer! Over the next few months, join us and Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art to broaden your hori...
06/20/2021

Welcome to summer! Over the next few months, join us and Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art to broaden your horizons with artworks and book illustrations that reflect our Summer Skies.

In honor of the Summer Solstice and the official start of the season, this illustration depicts the Earth’s position around the Sun through the year. It’s from Smithsonian curator (and later Secretary) Spencer Baird’s compendium “Iconographic encyclopaedia of science, literature, and art” (1851), an English translation of “Bilder atlas zum conversations lexicon” by Johann George Heck. You’ll notice the text on the illustrative plates is still in the original German.

Find it in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/35xbbso

Welcome to summer! Over the next few months, join us and Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art to broaden your horizons with artworks and book illustrations that reflect our Summer Skies.

In honor of the Summer Solstice and the official start of the season, this illustration depicts the Earth’s position around the Sun through the year. It’s from Smithsonian curator (and later Secretary) Spencer Baird’s compendium “Iconographic encyclopaedia of science, literature, and art” (1851), an English translation of “Bilder atlas zum conversations lexicon” by Johann George Heck. You’ll notice the text on the illustrative plates is still in the original German.

Find it in our Digital Library: https://s.si.edu/35xbbso

Address

10 St At Constitution Ave, NW
Washington D.C., DC
20560

General information

At the center of research across the Smithsonian are the specialized branches and librarians of the Smithsonian Libraries. The contents and staff of the Libraries play a key role in helping the Smithsonian’s research and curatorial staff makes sense of the museums’ almost innumerable, often unique, objects and their cultural and historical contexts. The Smithsonian Libraries are a hidden national treasure, where experts come to test and expand knowledge and where America and the world can turn for authentic answers. The Smithsonian Libraries is a network of 20 specialized research libraries supporting each of the Institution’s museums and initiatives. The subjects comprehended by this globally unique complex of libraries and librarians are as diverse and deep as the collections, exhibits, and scholarship they support. They truly span the range of scientific and cultural pursuits of humanity from aerospace, anthropology, astronomy, astrophysics, and art history to biology and botany, to cultural history, portraiture, philately, zoology, and much, much more.

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Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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(202) 633-2240

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My name is Mr.David Ngasura Tuei from the Kipsigis Talai commuty from Kenya. I authored " The Kipsigis Talai ..." book. The book was published in 2018 by the Gapman Publishers of Kenya and appeared on the Amazon link same year. The TCK Publishing Firm nominated the book for the Readers Award in 2020 in non-fiction books category. The book won the 2nd position, the 1st position was won by a book from the U.S, 2nd position was the Talai book from Kenya / Africa & the 3rd position was won by a book from India. http://www.tckpublishing.com/2020-readers-choice-award-winners/ "Talai Film" is coming up soon. The "Talai Film" is based on the Talai book which traces the history of the Talai from 19th Century to-date. The book captures stories of the former U.S President Barak Obama and his paternal grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama , Princess / Queen Elizabeth while in Kenya in February 1952, WWII, Talai resistance to the colonial government, Persecutions, Detentions & exile, Human Rights abuse issues, indigenous religion, Culture and traditional stories for the Talai, Talai governance system before & during colonialism,etc, among other scenes captured in the Film. After some Media Institutions & people noticed the book on social Media and read it, they said that the book was a good material for an exciting non- fiction movie. A Movie Producer has since taken interest to Produce the Movie based on the book " The Talai Film". The Proposed "Talai Film" will be produced by "The Little Man Arts Films Production" from Kenya in conjunction with the Egerton University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Literature, Languages & Linguistics. The Talai Film Producer has come up with the Film's script, a complete Talai Film Schedule , Budget & Proposal. The main challenge for the producer is funds to produce the film. The producer would wish to send the official Proposal to willing prospective funders for their considerations. My contact: David Ngasura Tuei Phone:- +254722619901 Eml:- [email protected]
Does anybody know if the Smithsonian Libraries are actual open again? Nobody answers the phone and the VM is full. I also submitted multiple online inquiries to the SI ask librarian service last September that have not been responded too......
I have a set of Louis Agassiz Fuertes lithographs (numbered) “Album of Abyssinian Birds and Mammals. They have been in my family for decades and I am interested to know what (if anything) they are worth. They are in individual protective sleeves and in in fair to good condition. Would love to know if I should hang on to them. They are very beautiful.
Whats God have to do with it. Thoughts from FLYOVER country. Here in the America. The one I used to live in. Yes. You could think and say things, that were in disagreement with the perception of others. This was called free agency or simply freedom. Yes, you could say lots of things. Things that were in poor taste, things that were rude, things that no other person wanted to hear. Yes. You had that right. And you still do. Until the leftist PC Gestapo gets through with you. Remember although you are born free. The government if not kept in check, could clean your clock. And that is why "In God We Trust". Without his help this nation could not have made as far as it has. Thankyou for not believing, that the lord, in heaven is working in mysterious ways. You are special to someone. Possibly someone you do not believe in. But that is ok. We think you are so very special to. Steven Herndon 09112019
To what extent can we identify with certainty the causal factors leading to some particular event? While technologies have assuredly evolved at warp speed, humanity most certainly hasn’t, and the deliberate adoption of a historical mindset will provide some much-needed context to help us grapple with our own issues of the day, whatever they might be.