Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption
Dissertatio de daphne [Daphnes]

Dissertatio de Daphne

By Carl Peter Thunberg. Upsaliæ: typis Zeipel et Palmblad, [1817].
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Named for the water nymph in Greek myth who was turned into a laurel tree, daphnes are a genus of 50-60 species of flowering shrubs native to Asia, Europe, and north Africa. Highly scented, they are a favorite garden plant, although the berries are poisonous. They are the focus of this university dissertation written by Professor Carl Peter Thunberg. In 18th- and 19th-century Europe, professors wrote the dissertations; the student’s job was to explicate and defend it and pay for its publication. The Smithsonian Libraries holds dozens of these botanical and zoological papers by the great... Read More

Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective

By Donald Wall. Washington: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1970.
Adoption Amount: $850   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library

This mysterious 10”x10”x11” cardboard box and its contents, designed for Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1970, re-envisioned the concept of an exhibition catalog. Soleri was an Italian architect who studied in the United States under Frank Lloyd Wright. He developed a theory of “Arcology” which proposed a fusion between architecture and ecology. Look closely at the exterior of Documenta and you will see a collage of text sampling Solari’s manifesto. Inside you will find 16 paper scrolls of blue-gray sketches imagining... Read More

Dracula

By Bram Stoker. New York: Doubleday & McClure Co., 1899.
Adoption Amount: $5,750   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

This is the 1st American edition of the classic tale of horror and suspense (also well known for its film versions).  The Libraries' copy, in the original publisher’s decorated cloth covers with a marvelous illustration of Dracula’s castle complete with bats flying overhead, is inscribed by Stoker himself to Benjamin B. Comegys (1819-1900), a wealthy Philadelphia businessman.  How did such a book come to be in the Dibner Library?  The Comegys family’s library had been a period-room exhibition in the National Museum of American History from 1966 to 1984, and the books were transferred to... Read More
Eine gläserne Flinte und zugleich nüzliche Bergwerksmaschiene...

Eine gläserne Flinte und zugleich nüzliche Bergwerksmaschiene...

By Joseph Maximilian von Lütgendorf. Regensburg: Mit Breitfeldischen Schriften, [ca. 1810].
Adoption Amount: $3,400   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

This fugitive promotional piece advertises the author's invention, a portable electric lighter, which he designed for mining and smelting but which had much broader uses. The lighter is considered in the literature of the history of science the first electric household appliance. A German pioneer of ballooning, Lütgendorf conducted a wide range of electrical experiments and improved on Volta's advances on the electrical lighter. The illustrations show details of the author's innovations, particularly to the water clock. Read More

Electric refrigerator menus and recipes

By Alice Bradley. Cleveland: General Electric Co, 1928, c1927.
Adoption Amount: $450   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

This 2nd edition of Electric refrigerator menus and recipes: recipes prepared especially for the General Electric refrigerator is dedicated to the "Modern Homemaker" and authored by the renowned dietitian, cookbook author, and radio show hostess Miss Alice Bradley, Principle of Miss (Fannie!) Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston, MA.  In 1927, when this cookbook and refrigeration guide was published, electric refrigeration was still in its infancy and Bradley rightly predicts that "the sum of its usefulness has not in any way been discovered."  Included within are general... Read More

Emperor Kangxi and the Sun King Louis XIV

Taipei shi : Guo li gu gong bo wu yuan, 2011.
Adoption Amount: $380   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library

Emperor Kangxi and King Louis XIV of France, also known as Louis the Great, were both considered among the greatest rulers of their respective countries. They have been compared politically and militarily, but few comparisons in artistic achievements have been done. Both rulers came to the throne during childhood. They had excellent skills in riding and archery and both were fluent in a number of languages. As a Manchu emperor, Kangxi had a solid command of Mandarin Chinese and Mongolian whereas Louis XIV was versed in French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin. Through the French Jesuit... Read More

English table glass

By Percy H. Bate. London: B.T. Batsford , [1905?].
Adoption Amount: $500   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Museum of American History Library

Percy Bate was born in Manchester in 1868.  In addition to English Table Glass, he authored several books on portraiture and other forms of art.  He was Secretary of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and later Director of Aberdeen Municipal Art Gallery and Museum.  In English Table Glass, he uses photographs and descriptions to highlight many examples from spirit glasses to candlesticks.  Bate covers table glass from the 16th through the 18th century, but some of his advice—such as how to identify fakes—applies to researchers and collectors today. This volume... Read More
Epistola de praecipuis naturae et artis curiosis speciminibus musei...

Epistola de praecipuis naturae et artis curiosis speciminibus musei...

By Friedrich Christian Lesser. [Nordhausen: s.n., 1736].
Adoption Amount: $1,250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

The natural-history rare-book collection includes a growing body of publications describing, cataloging, illustrating, and/or discussing early natural-history cabinets and specimen collections. They are important to scientific researchers for identifying collections and individual specimens that are referenced in taxonomic works (and that may have served as the type on which a new species was named). In this short publication, Friedrich Christian Lesser (1692-1754) describes a number of specimens in his natural-history cabinet. A German pastor with a strong interest in the natural... Read More

Eskimo cook book

Anchorage, Alaska : Alaska Crippled Children's Association, [1952?].
Adoption Amount: $400   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

This 1952 cookbook began in an Inupiaq village just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle as part of an elementary school classroom discussion of locally available native foods for good health.  The teacher’s request for each student to “bring in a recipe or little story of how mother cooked the meat, fish, or other foods used”  resulted in this booklet. Recipes share instructions on preparing indigenous plants and wildlife, from stink weed to polar bear and whale. Learn more about this cookbook and its contributors at the website: https://www.good.is/slideshows/photos-the-eskimo-... Read More

Esquisses Senegalaises

By P.-D Boilat. Paris: Karthala, c1984.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

Authentic early images of West Africans are rare—and quite sought after. David Boilat offers us just such a portfolio in Esquisses Sénégalaises, published in 1853. The twenty-four color plates are remarkable for their attention to details of clothing, jewelry, hair styles, skin color, and facial features. His accompanying text describes, with remarkable equanimity for his time period, pertinent customs and behaviors ranging from the admirable to the deplorable—all judged from the local point of view. For example, the richly dressed Bamana woman wears a head tie of fine madras, a... Read More

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