Books

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence)), 1935. 

Art Meets Science

See Fantastical Maps From 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings' and More

In honor of the centennial of James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

The image of the playwright on the title page is also just one of two portraits with "any claim to authenticity," according to the British Library. 

Shakespeare First Folio Acquired by the University of British Columbia

The volume is going on display at Vancouver Art Gallery as part of a new exhibition

Marchand and Meffre discovered thousands of early 20th century theaters across the U.S. and Canada, and then spent the next 15 years photographing them.

Eight Historic Movie Theaters With Interesting Second Acts

In a new book, photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre honor the remains—and the creative reuses—of North America's iconic 20th century cinemas

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

Learn about Gullah Geechee staples, incredible festivals around the world and the future of food in our top picks of the year.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Books About Food of 2021

From cookbooks to a memoir to a guide to hundreds of food adventures across the globe, these new titles will leave you satisfied

Drum roll, please.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Children's Books of 2021

These top titles deliver amazing facts, fresh rhymes and important life lessons

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The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2021

In year two of the pandemic, our favorite titles invite us into worlds outside our own

In our efforts to increase and diffuse knowledge, we highly recommend these 87 titles this year.

The Best Books of 2021

The Best Books of 2021

In our efforts to increase and diffuse knowledge, we highly recommend these 57 titles this year

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The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Science Books of 2021

From captivating memoirs by researchers to illuminating narratives by veteran science journalists, these works affected us the most this year

This year's list includes Four Lost Cities, About Time and The Man Who Hated Women.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best History Books of 2021

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and help explain how the U.S. got to where it is today

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

Travel by way of these ten titles.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2021

With many of our wings still clipped by Covid-19 this year, we needed to travel vicariously through these adventurous reads

Franklin believed a turkey killed with electricity would be tastier than one dispatched by conventional means: decapitation.

When Benjamin Franklin Shocked Himself While Attempting to Electrocute a Turkey

The statesman was embarrassed by the mishap—no doubt a murder most fowl

The ornate object features likenesses of Saints Leonard and Margaret, patron saints of childbirth.

Cool Finds

Tiny Gold Book Found in English Field May Have Ties to Richard III

Experts say the 15th-century artifact bears striking similarities to the Middleham Jewel, a gold pendant found near the king's childhood home in 1985

In his new book Around the World in 80 Books, David Damrosch builds an itinerary that circumnavigates the globe—and doesn't require a passport to enjoy.

Virtual Travel

A Literary Scholar Takes Us Around the World in Eighty Books

Harvard professor David Damrosch's new release has readers traveling to London, Paris, Nigeria, Tokyo and beyond without ever leaving home

Harvest ABC's, 2019

Crayons Aren't Just for Kids

Mixed media artist Lisa Solomon describes how she and five other artists have embraced Crayola in their work

The Roman elite viewed public toilets as an instrument that flushed the filth of the plebes out of their noble sight.

How the Ancient Romans Went to the Bathroom

A new book by journalist Lina Zeldovich traces the management of human waste—and underscores poop's potential as a valuable resource

A woman smiles as she reaches for a container of Betty Crocker pizza dough mix, in the dairy section of a grocery store.

The Real Betty Crocker May Never Have Existed, but She Still Became a Symbol for American Women

Created as a customer service tool 100 years ago, the fictional character marks the evolution of domesticity in the United States

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