Books Available for Adoption


Books Available for Adoption
Cover of Arizona sketches

Arizona sketches

By J. A. Munk. New York: The Grafton Press, 1905.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

“Arizona is a land that is full of history as well as mystery and invites investigation. It has a fascination that every one feels who crosses its boarder. Paradoxical as it may seem, it is both the oldest and newest portion of our country – the oldest in ancient occupation and civilization and the newest in modern progress.” So states Joseph A. Munk in A Romantic Land, the first chapter, or sketch, in this, his first book about Arizona. Munk became an Arizona enthusiast after visiting the territory for the first time in 1884, and began a life-long obsession with the literature... Read More
Atlas of the Philippine Islands folio book

Atlas of the Philippine Islands

By Manila Observatory. Washington [D.C.]: [U.S.] G.P.O, 1900.
Adoption Amount: $900   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

This atlas was drawn up in the late 1880s under the supervision of Jesuit Observatory director Fr Joséš Algue, S.J. At a time when no full surveys of the islands existed, the compilers painstakingly worked to collect and verify all available data from residents, travelers, explorers, and the like. Native Philippine draftsmen executed the drawings. When the Philippines was ceded to the U.S. in 1899, the U.S. recognized the project’s value and agreed to publish the work through the U.S. Coastal and Geodetic Survey, redoing some maps and including an introduction and statistical... Read More
Awareness of Love

Awareness of Love

By Rafael F. Squirru. [Washington: H.K. Press, 1966].
Adoption Amount: $3,500   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: American Art and Portrait Gallery Library

Born in Chile, but settling in the United States in the mid-1960s, Juan Downey explored many different art media. Although he became primarily known for his video art, he also created in other media, including painting, installations, and printmaking. Early in his career he studied in Santiago, Spain and then Paris, France where he focused on printmaking and painting. His early work already shows his interest in energy and concerns with navigating his Latin American heritage with his adopted home and ideals. He is now recognized as one of the earliest adopters of video art which... 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
Cover of the 1924 edition of Beautiful Gardens in America

Beautiful gardens in America,

By Louise Shelton. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1924.
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Botany and Horticulture Library

Beautiful Gardens in America (both the 1915 and 1924 editions) is Louise Shelton’s most important work and a noted work of twentieth century American gardening and cultural history. This 1924 edition includes 11 color and 274 half-tone photos (a large increase from the 1915 edition) of notable American gardens of the time. Both photos and gardens were carefully selected by the author and cover many regions of the country and varying climatic conditions. The Rocky Mountain region was left out because she thought it was not “in nature open to the cultivation of formal gardens... 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
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
Damage to Birmingham Brass Catalogue

Birmingham Brass Catalogue

Birmingham, England: s.n, 178-?.
Adoption Amount: $450   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Birmingham, Englad was known as the first manufacturing town in the world and played a central role in the manufacturing and production of trade catalogs. Trade catalogs emerged as a new and effective way to market industrial design to the masses while competing with rival firms. This brass trade catalog used detailed engravings to sell a diverse group of mass-produced metal products. As one of the earliest examples of a trade catalog, and rarest in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonia Design Library, it contains images of more than eight hundred brass hardware and decorative objects in a... Read More
Birth of the Cool

Birth of the Cool

By Barkley L. Hendricks. Durham, N.C: Nasher Museum of Art, c2008.
Adoption Amount: $500   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

Birth of the Cool is just about the coolest book you’ll ever see. In this 2008 exhibition catalog of his first retrospective, Barkley L. Hendricks distills black identity into powerful three-quarter and full-length portraits that teem with style and attitude. His sitters are unapologetic in their self-presentation, and the result is a phenomenal elevation of African Americans who would have gone otherwise unnoticed in the immediate decades following Civil Rights. The title of this catalog, edited by Trevor Schoonmaker, stems from the iconic 1957 Miles Davis album that came to... Read More