Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption
Cover of Biohistory of 19th-century Afro-Americans

A Biohistory of 19th-Century Afro-Americans

By Lesley M. Rankin-Hill. Westport, Conn: Bergin & Garvey, 1997.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

Upon the discovery of a long-forgotten cemetery in Philadelphia, excavation and study exposed the remains of a Baptist church cemetery and its African-American inhabitants. Thorough research of the skeletons and surrounding area shed light on the living conditions of the African Americans in 19th-century Philadelphia and its environs. This book is important to scientists and curators studying 19th-century American life and physical remains of 19th century Africa -Americans. Read More
Box of Smile Y.O '71 and enclosure

A Box of Smile

By Yoko Ono. New York: Fluxus, 1984, c1971.
Adoption Amount: $500   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library

This multiple was created by George Maciunas, ostensible leader of the avant-garde movement Fluxus, in conjunction with Yoko Ono’s 1971 retrospective This is Not Here at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. Ono, artist, peace activist, and widow of John Lennon has used smiles as a recurring theme since the 1960s. "It is the simplest thing to make yourself healthy and make others feel good," she says about smiling. (Reuters.com) Issued in both black and white, the plastic box is gold-stamped A BOX OF SMILE Y.O. ’71, and opens to reveal a mirror with the viewer’s reflection,... Read More
Compendium of Chronicles

A Compendium of Chronicles

By Sheila Blair. London: Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press, c1995.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library

The Compendium of Chronicles, written during the 14th century by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (1247-1318) is considered the first world history. It was written for the Mongol Ilkhanate in Persia. It covers not only the history of the Mongols but major events occurring in China and Europe. This scholarly study by Sheila Blair examines a version of the original manuscript by looking at pages owned by the Khalili Collection and by the Edinburgh University Library. The Compendium was lavishly illustrated and is of great significance for the study of Ilkhanid manuscript painting. Dr. Blair looked... Read More
A complete history of drugs

A complete history of drugs

By Pierre Pomet. London: Printed for J. and J. Bonwicke, S. Birt, W. Parker, C. Hitch, and E. Wicksteed, 1748.
Adoption Amount: $750   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

The imaginative illustrations in this rare medical book are what first catches the eye of its reader. Depicting traditional medicinal sources like minerals and plants, as well as the more unusual like unicorn horns and Egyptian mummies, the author Pierre Pomet relied on his extensive travels across Europe to fill up this medical recipe book. Upon his return to Paris, Pomet opened his own apothecary shop. His success was such that he became the chief druggist to King Louis XIV. Pomet’s book was also quite popular and went through several editions, likely achieving success not only due... Read More
Cover of A history of the art of bookbinding

A History of the Art of Bookbinding

By William Salt Brassington. London: E. Stock, 1894.
Adoption Amount: $750   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Museum of American History Library

It seems right that a book about bookbinding would have a beautiful cover. But it does not seem right that a book about bookbinding would have a loose binding! A History of the Art of Bookbinding gives a detailed overview of bookmaking methods from ancient times, like Egyptian papyri and Roman scrolls, up to the time of its publication in 1894. It features photographs and illustrations of particularly interesting bindings, such as the carved ivory cover of a 12th century book shown on the frontispiece. Some of the noteworthy bookbindings are covered with jewels, embossed leather, or... Read More
A narrative of travels in Northern Africa, in the years 1818, 19, and 20

A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa

By G. F. Lyon. London: John Murray, 1821.
Adoption Amount: $2,000   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

The 17 hand-colored prints of early 19th century Northern and Western Africans are not only elegant, but are also valuable historical documents on clothing, headgear, jewelry, and weaponry of that era. The image shown here, "Camel conveying a bride to her husband," (opposite page 299) is one of the most dramatic, but all provide a wealth of information for the historian and art historian alike. George Francis Lyon's clear narrative is a remarkable interweaving of history, geography, and ethnography of a part of the world virtually unknown at the time of his travels in 1818-1820. Read More
Robert Campbell, Jamaican explorer in Nigeria

A Pilgrimage to my Motherland

By Robert Campbell. New York: T. Hamilton; Philadelphia, by the author, 1861.
Adoption Amount: $1,000   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

In the 1850s, life was hard for free black Americans, and many were considering emigration to Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, or Africa. Debate was fierce. In 1854, the National Emigration Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio, began to consider the African option proposed by Harvard graduate Martin Robison Delaney. He formed the Niger Valley Exploring Party, intending to establish a settlement in Abeokuta, Nigeria, to grow cotton for the British market using free labor, eventually driving slave-owning American cotton growers out of business. Robert Campbell, a Jamaican-born... Read More
A Travers le Transvaal, cover

A Travers le Transvaal

By Léo Dex. Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1904.
Adoption Amount: $300   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

Léo Dex was the pseudonym of the brillant and distinguished aeronautical engineer Edouard-Léopold-Joseph Deburaux, who was commander of a company of hot-air balloonists attached to the French Army’s First Corps of Engineers. Under his given name, he wrote many books and papers on the possible uses of hot-air balloons for exploration and warfare. His grand experiment in balloon exploration—sending hot-air balloons across the Sahara from Tunisia to the region of Timbuktu—ended in failure, and he died shortly thereafter. As Léo Dex, he wrote adventure stories for young people; the book... Read More
Title page and frontis featuring cut stones of A Treatise on Diamonds, and Precious Stones

A Treatise on Diamonds, and Precious Stones

By John Mawe. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1823.
Adoption Amount: $600   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

John Mawe (1766-1829) first set out on a career at sea, but after various misfortunes, including foundering off Mozambique and being imprisoned as a spy in Montevideo, he concluded that a sea-faring life was too hazardous and turned to selling the shells, minerals, and other natural-history specimens that he had begun collecting in his travels. Investigating mines from England to Brazil – he was one of the first foreigners to visit the diamond mines in Minas Gerais – he became a leading dealer in the booming trade of gems, minerals, and other specimens for curiosity cabinets and... Read More
Spine of Account of the Skeleton of the Mammoth

Account of the Skeleton of the Mammoth

By Rembrandt Peale. London: E. Lawrence, 1802.
Adoption Amount: $1,200   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

An artist rather than a paleontologist, Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860) nevertheless did a great deal to popularize the field. He was the son of Charles Willson Peale, also an artist; father and son are both well-known for their portraits of George Washington. Charles Wilson also founded of the first natural history museum in America which, until 1801, largely contained stuffed specimens, but was that year the first museum in the world to display the bones of a “mammoth” (later identified as a mastodon). It was also the second mounted fossil skeleton in history. Although Rembrandt and his... Read More

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