Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption
Dineh Bizad, Navajo, his Language title page

Dineh Bizad, Navaho, his language

Tolchaco, Ariz.: Mission to the Navaho Indians, [pref. 1910].
Adoption Amount: $450   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

This small 4 x 6 inch handbook written by Presbyterian missionary Frederick G Mitchel is  “ . .  the fruit of a sincere desire to help those who seek a working knowledge of the Navaho language.”   It includes an alphabet with English sound words, conjugated verbs, an English-Navaho word list and other subject-oriented word lists for places, travel, greetings, time and seasons, money and numbers, personal pronouns, parts of the body, and family relations.  In warning the reader how difficult Navaho is to learn, Mitchell could never have dreamed that difficulty would turn into an asset... Read More
Directions for making collections in natural history, prepared for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science

Directions for making collections in natural history, prepared for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science

By H. King. Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1840.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

This slim pamphlet, prepared for a short-lived organization that preceded the founding of the Smithsonian Institution, is one of a numerous collection of early instructions for collecting specimens of plants and animals. These publications reflect the growing recognition of the importance of proper preservation techniques and record-keeping for natural-history collections, as private collections evolved into public museums through the 19th century. Read More
Discours sur la structure des fleurs, leurs differences et l'usage de leurs parties....

Discours sur la structure des fleurs, leurs differences et l'usage de leurs parties....

By Sébastien Vaillant. A Leide: Chez Pierre vander Aa ..., MDCCXVIII [1718].
Adoption Amount: $4,125   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

This short publication by a little-known botanist gave Linnaeus the diagnostic tools and the anatomical terminology for his sexual system of classifying plants. After studying botany under Tournefort at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, Vaillant (1669-1722) established a herbarium there and showed such talent and dedication that over time he rose through the ranks to become the director. This publication is his inaugural address for the opening of a new portion of the Jardin in 1717, in which he described his observations of the reproductive characteristics of plants "identifying the... Read More
Inside Diseases and Enemies of Poultry

Diseases and Enemies of Poultry

By Leonard Pearson. Harrisburg: C.M Busch, c1897.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Museum Support Center Library

While he graduated with a degree in agriculture at Cornell, it was summer work on combating contagious diseases in cattle that led to Dr. Leonard Pearson’s (1868-1909) interest in veterinary medicine. Upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school, Dr. Pearson continued his work on protecting cattle and would eventually rise from Professor of Medicine to Dean of the Veterinary School to Pennyslvania’s State Veterinarian. Expanding his research into poultry, Dr. Pearson recognized how the introduction of new flocks to an existing group increased the risk of the... Read More
Dissertatio botanica de dracæna [Dragon trees]

Dissertatio botanica de dracæna [Dragon trees]

By Carl Peter Thunberg. Upsaliæ: typis Edmannianis, [1808].
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Dragon trees are a genus of about 120 species of trees and shrubs in the family Asparagaceae, native almost exclusively to Africa. Some of the smaller species are popular as houseplants and have earned a “green” reputation for their ability to clear pollutants from the air. 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. SIL holds dozens of these botanical and zoological papers by the great... Read More
Dissertatio botanica de palmis [Palms]

Dissertatio botanica de palmis [Palms]

By Carl Peter Thunberg. Upsaliæ: excudebant Palmblad et c., [1825].
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Palms comprise a group of 181 genera totaling 2600 species of plants in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate ecosystems. Originating from a single ancestor species but now highly diverse due to adaptive radiation, palms have been economically important since being cultivated in Mesopotamia 5000 years ago. 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. SIL holds dozens of these botanical and... Read More
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 Solari retrospective, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1970 exhibition catalog. Box open with select scrolls.

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
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
Cover of Electric refrigerator menus and recipes

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

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