Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption

Reports on the crab and lobster fisheries of England and Wales ... of Scotland ... and of Ireland

London: George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1877.
Adoption Amount: $450   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Museum Support Center Library

Written by Francis Trevelyan Buckland (1826 – 1880) and Sir Spencer Walpole KCB (1839 – 1907) in 1877, Report on the Crab and Lobster Fisheries of England and Wales, of Scotland, and of Ireland serves as an excellent historical survey of individuals who made their living catching both lobsters and crabs in waters around the United Kingdom. Over the course of their inquiry, the authors (who were historians in their own rights) interviewed fishermen to learn about their habits and routines—all in an effort to capture statistics and determine the standard process by which lobsters... Read More

Reveries and Recollections of a Naturalist

By Oliver Davie. Columbus, [Ohio]: 1898.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

Number 68 of just 200 copies, this whimsical semi-autobiography of expert naturalist and taxidermist Oliver Davie is interspersed with encyclopedia-esque entries minutely describing species particular to the author’s career. The pebbled, green cover is embossed in black and gold, and the book is printed on thick, embossed paper with visible chain lines. Lithographs, photos, and illustrations dot its text, including a photograph of the author at work. Enhancing the allure of this book is the unique place it holds in the Smithsonian’s history. It was owned by the Sixth Secretary of the... Read More

Rock gardening for amateurs

By H. H. Thomas. London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne: Cassell and company, limited, 1914.
Adoption Amount: $300   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Botany and Horticulture Library

This first edition, with its eye-poppingly colorful book cover and spine of rocks and flowering shrubs, was written by a leading British garden writer of  the 20th century, Harry Higgott Thomas (1876-1956). Thomas trained at the famous Kew Gardens in London and worked at Veitch’s Nursery and Windsor as foreman of the Royal Gardens before embarking on a career as a horticultural writer. Rock Gardening for Amateurs is written for beginning rock gardeners and is one of over 30 books and articles he wrote on gardening during this lifetime. The publishers took advantage of new... Read More
Samarkande : 20 compositions en couleurs dans le style oriental

Samarkande : 20 compositions en couleurs dans le style oriental

By E. A. Séguy. Paris: Ch. Massin, éditeur ..., [between 1920 and 1922].
Adoption Amount: $3,125   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Eugene Alain Seguy was one of the foremost French designers at the beginning of the 20th century, creating examples of ornamentation to inspire artists and designers based on the natural world, including flowers, foliage, crystals, insects and animals. Working in both the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, he published many design folios utilizing the pochoir technique, a printing process that employs a series of stencils to lay dense and vivid color. Samarkande is a portfolio of decoration and ornament reflecting Oriental influences. Read More
Sammlung der wichtigsten europäischen Nutzhölzer in characterischen Schnitten

Sammlung der wichtigsten europäischen Nutzhölzer in characterischen Schnitten

By W. Burkart. Brünn [Brno]: Eigenthum, Druck und Verlag von W. Burkart's Buchdruckerei, 1880[-1882].
Adoption Amount: $3,000   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Burkart's Sammlung contains a brief text on European species of trees, including pines, firs, yews, oaks, willows, fruit woods, and others, but its glory is the 40 plates — one per species — consisting of actual wood samples in thin transverse, radial, and tangential cross-sections, held between layers of stiff-card boards with cut-outs so that one can see the wood grain when held up to the light. It is extremely scarce, with only 3 copies in U.S. libraries. Read More

Short cuts to good eating

By Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation. [Sand Springs, OK, $c 1950]:
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

Short cuts to good eating: unusual and new recipes for using home canned foods was published by Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation. Ruth Kerr, the then-President of the 46 year old company, designed this post-war domestic guide with an eye to food preservation and thrift. "How-to-do-it" canning and recipes are included as well as a complimentary perforated sheet of ephemeral glue-treated jar labels which are still intact. See page 23 on how to can bone in steaks! Kerr Glass, riffing on the earlier metal lid and gasket used in canning, invented the self-sealing lid with... Read More

Shrimps, lobsters, and crabs of the Atlantic Coast of the Eastern United States, Maine to Florida

By Austin B. Williams. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984.
Adoption Amount: $320   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library

Many of us may think of Old Bay and/or butter when we think of shrimp, lobster, and crabs, but for the scientists at SERC, these creatures are viewed as part of food webs, as ecological invaders, or as proxies for understanding ecosystem dynamics. This 550 page volume is an ‘identification key’—also called a ‘biological,’ ‘dichotomous,’ or ‘taxonomic’ key—to the shrimp, lobster, and crab species of the Atlantic coast. Keys are used by scientists to identify species at hand.  Like many keys, this book includes detailed drawings of decisive features that assist the reader in... Read More

Singing Whales and Flying Squid

By Richard Ellis. Guilford, Conn: Lyons Press, 2005.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

Imagine climbing into a small, metal submersible, closing the hatch, and dropping into the ocean. The light will quickly fade as the metal around you grinds ever-so-slightly, adjusting to the changes in pressure. But you’re not afraid – no, of course not, not when Richard Ellis is by your side regaling you with tales of giant squid attacking bait traps, discovering vent fields at the bottom of the ocean, and the sudden appearance of a prehistoric, formally extinct fish. This is exactly what reading this book is like. In it, Mr. Ellis brings to bear his impressive decades of experience... Read More

Sinking of the "Titanic"

By Jay Henry Mowbray. Harrisburg, Pa.: The Minter Company, 1912.
Adoption Amount: $750   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

How fast could you write a 300 page book? Sensationalist journalist Jay Henry Mowbray turned out this edition of The Sinking of the Titanic (complete with illustrations and ready for sale) by May 11, 1912, less than a month after the ship struck that infamous iceberg. Speed puts this book into a curious genre—the “instant book.” The instant book narrates a contemporaneous event through a collage of sources, like government hearings or embellished descriptions, coalesced by journalists, then sold door-to-door as soon as possible. But why the need for speed? Like today, the... Read More

Sonoran Desert Spring

By John Alcock. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

John Alcock is a behavioral ecologist and professor at Arizona State University.  He writes in a very approachable style (similar to more popular and famous biologists like Stephen Jay Gould and E.O. Wilson) that splendidly reveals his passion and appreciation of desert life as a naturalist to the general public.  This 1985 title, “Sonoran Desert Spring,” contains numerous photographs (some in color) of the Sonoran desert during springtime. Read More

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