Books Available for Adoption


Books Available for Adoption
Title page of Azores

Azores: A Natural Portrait

By Pedro Cardoso.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

The Azores, an archipelago of volcanic islands west of Portugal, undoubtedly possesses one of the most unique and ever-changing environments on the planet.  Within these lush and vibrant islands lie flora and fauna never seen before.  In fact, it is not unusual to discover new species on the islands. Unfortunately, these islands are also fragile, and centuries of settlement, deforestation, and the introduction of invasive species have begun wiping out entire species.  In an effort to notify the world of both the Azores’ beauty and the threat facing them, Curator of the Finnish Museum of... Read More
Cover of Baby bird-finder

Baby Bird-Finder

By Harriet E. Richards. Boston, Mass: W.A. Butterfield, 1904-06.
Adoption Amount: $550   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

The title may be misleading: these volumes are not how to find baby birds, but rather they are adorable pocket-sized volumes to be used for identifying bird species in New England and other Northeastern states. Volume I covers song birds, such as flycatchers, larks and sparrows; volume II includes water and game birds, hawks, and owls. The illustrations in Volume I are outline sketches but by the time Volume II was published the author was able to use photographs. Blank pages were included in the books so bird watchers could record their own observations. Read More
Illustration by Miguel Covarrubias


By Rene Maran. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1932.
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

René Maran was born in Martinique, educated in France, and served as a colonial administrator in the French colonies of West Africa.  In 1921 he won the Prix Goncourt for Batouala—the first black author to be so honored.  Although in the preface he delivers a blistering critique of French colonial abuse, he asserts that the novel is a story not of black against white but simply of two men in a Banda village fighting over a woman.  The ethnographic details and perceived aesthetic portrayal of African-ness were much appreciated by the intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance... Read More
Beschreibung einer Elektrisir-Maschine und deren Gebrauch

Beschreibung einer Elektrisir-Maschine und deren Gebrauch

By Georg Christoph Schmidt. Berlin: Verlegts Gottlieb August Lange, 1778.
Adoption Amount: $1,450   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

Second, enlarged and corrected edition of this very scarce tract on the author's electricity machine handsomely illustrated on the folding plates. This machine was used in physics experiments and occasionally for medicinal purposes. Schmidt (1740-1811) is identified as the "court instrument maker" and wrote several additional works on electricity. Read More
Beschreibung eines Ellipsograph

Beschreibung eines Ellipsograph

By Georg Friedrich Parrot. Gotha: In der Ettingerschen Buchhandlung, 1794.
Adoption Amount: $800   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

A superb monograph on the theory, construction and use of a mechanical drawing device to describe ellipses. The author, Georg Friedrich Parrot (1767 – 1852) was a German scientist, the first rector of the Imperial University of Dorpat (University of Tartu), being elected by the University Council consisting of all chaired professors. In this capacity, Parrot skillfully fought for the academic freedom and the self-government of the university, protecting her from the political pressure of Baltic German barons who had been given the right to autonomously govern in the Baltic provinces. The... Read More
Cover of Between Sacred Mountains

Between Sacred Mountains

By Rock Point Community School . Tucson, Ariz: University of Arizona Press, 1984.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Vine Deloria, Jr. Library, National Museum of the American Indian

Originally produced and published for the students of the Rock Point Community School in on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona, this book became prominent as Volume 11 in the Sun Tracks, a series of contemporary Native American literary works. Between Sacred Mountains portrays Navajo world view based upon the land and how it has sustained the lifeways of the Navajo people. Text and stories are written and told by Navajo traditional knowledge holders, healers, educators, artists, and numerous specialists in the field of Navajo Studies. The text of Between... Read More
Bible   [in Mohawk]

Bible [in Mohawk]

[New York: Published by the Young Men's Bible Society of New-York, auxiliary to the Bible Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1836].
Adoption Amount: $4,500   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Native American languages have been a central research interest at the Smithsonian since the late 1800s when anthropologist John Wesley Powell founded the Bureau of American Ethnology and (who is he?) James C. Pilling compiled his still-authoritative bibliographies on Native American linguistic families. This volume contains the texts of 17 separately published books of the New Testament in Mohawk: the Gospel of St. John; the Acts of the Apostles; 14 Epistles of Paul, John, James, and Jude; and finally the Revelation of John. H.A. Hill, the translator of some of them, was a Mohawk... Read More
Black American Heritage Through United States Postage Stamps

Black American Heritage Through United States Postage Stamps

By R. Charles Allen. Washington: Bridge Publications, c1979.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Postal Museum Library

This thin, 26-paged booklet has both color portraits and black and white pencil sketches of prominent heroes of Black History. Written by three Black doctors, it was published in Washington, D.C. Part One is arranged in chronological order based on significant events in American history. For example, two Black heroes of the American Revolution (the first Blacks to fight at Bunker Hill), three Black heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, two Black heroes in education, one hero in literature, one scientist, and two heroes in the arts. Part Two covers significant subjects, such as the... Read More
black aviator

Black Aviator

By William J. Powell. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, c1994.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Anacostia Community Museum Library

Published by the Smithsonian, this wonderful book is an updated copy of the 1934 book entitled "Black Wings." The original was written by an African American army officer and WWI veteran, Lt. William Jenifer Powell. Released 60 years after the original, this copy includes an introduction by the Smithsonian's Curator of Russian/Soviet & African-American Aviation. To make it even more special, this exact copy was donated by the (late) second Director of the Anacostia Community Museum, Steven Newsome, who started out his career as a librarian! This small book details the life of the... Read More
African American astronauts

Black Stars in Orbit

By Khephra Burns. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co, c1995.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

Black Stars in Orbit is an overview of the first African Americans who were selected to be astronaut candidates, the first who worked for NASA on new technologies for mission projects, and the first to travel to space as part of the NASA Space Shuttle program. This volume is beatifully illustrated and contains brief biographical overviews. Information on Guy Bluford and Mae Jemison, the first African Americans to go to space, is included, as are the stories of astronauts Ron McNair, Charles Bolden, and Edward Dwight, the first African American selected for astronaut training. Read More