Smithsonian Libraries

Historian Peter Mancall says New English Canaan is “not very long” and “not very well written,” but holds immense value in what it says about the nation’s founding.

How America's First Banned Book Survived and Became an Anti-Authoritarian Icon

The Puritans outlawed Thomas Morton's "New English Canaan" because it was critical of the society they were building in colonial New England

“Music is a reflection of people's lives. It comes out of their experience,” says the folk musician Alice Gerrard, who will perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.

Why Women's Music Embraces the Voices of Past Generations

New show examining the deep connections women make with musical tradition kicks off with a concert featuring folk star Alice Gerrard

The first page of the Hungerford Deed, 1787, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 19-150.

This Property Contract Sheds New Light on James Smithson's Gift to the Smithsonian

The 1787 Hungerford Deed, donated to the Smithsonian in 2019, offers a glimpse into the family dynamics that shaped the founder's decision

After L. A. Huffman, “A Dead Bull” from William T. Hornaday, “The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch of Its Discovery and Life History,”

How Yellowstone Was Saved by a Teddy Roosevelt Dinner Party and a Fake Photo in a Gun Magazine

Chilling photos of slain buffalo in Yellowstone Park helped pass an act outlining punishment for poaching on public lands. But the photos were fakes

Back in the Day, These Vintage Supplies Kept Libraries Running.

Back in the Day, These Vintage Supplies Kept Libraries Running

Modern technology replace these tools and supplies, but these drawings bring back many happy memories of checking out a book

Example of a new meeting background in use, featuring the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

Celebrate National Library Week With Bibliophilic Backgrounds for Your Virtual Meetings

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives offers book lovers these nine stylish backdrops


The Surprising Story of the Smithsonian Sunburst

Crimilda Pontes was the Institution’s first official graphic designer and the designer of the iconic sunburst symbol

Portrait of Graceanna Lewis, The Underground Rail Road (1872)

Meet Naturalist Graceanna Lewis, Who Played a Key Role in the Underground Railroad

One of the first three woman to be accepted into the Academy of Natural Sciences, Lewis left behind a legacy of science and soclal progress

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives invites you to a series of four Adopt-a-Book Salons in March and April.

Calling All Bibliophiles: Here's How to Adopt a Book

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives invites you to a series of four Adopt-a-Book Salons in March and April

The original photos from late 1800s by famous snowflake photographer Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, are stored in the Smithsonian Archives. His pictures were instrumental in helping scientists examine snow’s crystalline properties.

Why Scientists Find Snowflakes Cool

Mineralogists study snowflakes to learn more about how water in its solid phase behaves

Follow the antics of the National Zoo's giant pandas (above: Tian Tian munching on bamboo) on the Panda Cams.

How to Virtually Explore the Smithsonian From Your Living Room

Tour a gallery of presidential portraits, print a 3-D model of a fossil or volunteer to transcribe historical documents

The blue-throated barbet, illustrated here in 1871, is native to southern Asia.

You Can Now Download 150,000 Free Illustrations of the Natural World

The artworks, collected by the open-access Biodiversity Heritage Library, range from animal sketches to historical diagrams and botanical studies

Hartmann Schedel, The Nuremberg Chronicle (Anton Koberger, for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kamermaister), 1493

One Hundred Museums Transformed Their Collections Into Free Coloring Pages

This year's #ColorOurCollections campaign features everything from medical drawings to zany 1920s advertisements for butter

A new exhibition featuring rare books from the Smithsonian Libraries examines the complex history and evolution of big game hunting.

The Complicated History of the Human and Elephant Relationship

With the new exhibition, “Game Change,” Smithsonian Libraries delves into 150 years of hunting and conservation

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018

Here are eleven titles that intrigued and thrilled Smithsonian's knowledge seekers this year

The first volume of the delightful children's series by author Michael Bond appeared on October 13, 1958.

The Much-Loved Paddington Bear Turns Sixty

Celebrating the October 1958 publication of <em>A Bear Called Paddington,</em> Smithsonian Libraries takes a look at several pop-up books

Mrs. Jane Loudon’s The Ladies' Flower-Garden of Ornamental Greenhouse Plants (1848)

A Botanical Wonderland Resides in the World of Rare and Unusual Books

The Smithsonian’s librarian and antiquarian Leslie Overstreet time travels, sharing centuries of horticultural splendors

“Although it is a somewhat formidable trip, it is by no means impossible to get out to the Great Skellig, which is by far the most interesting island off the Irish coast.”

The True History of Luke Skywalker's Monastic Retreat

A Smithsonian Librarian delves into centuries of maps and manuscripts to discover ancient stories of this sacred place and sanctuary

Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, the first two commercially popular country music acts, got their national start at the Bristol Sessions.

How the Bristol Sessions Created Country Music

Ninety years ago, a yodeller named Jimmie Rodgers laid down two of the tracks he would be remembered for

A woodcut from 1482 is yours for the coloring in a book by the Bodleian Library.

#ColorOurCollections Is Back, Turning Your Favorite Cultural Institutions Into Coloring Books

In its second year, it's more vibrant than ever

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