Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption
Emperor Kangxi and the Sun King Louis XIV

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
Title page of English Table Glass

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 cover page

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
Bamana woman richly dressed

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
Wooden spoons from the Congo

Ethnographisch album van het stroomgebied van den Congo

By Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Netherlands). 's-Gravenhage: M. Nijhoff, 1904-1916.
Adoption Amount: $1,000   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

This illustrated album of Congolese art and material culture in the Rijks Ethnographische Museum is an exemplar of meticulous ethnographic documentation done in the early 20th century—the heyday of European ethnographic museums. The book features incredible illustrations of spoons—made of shell, wood, and ivory.  Some are anthropomorphic.  Some are highly ornamental.  Others are simple and utilitarian.  But all are painstakingly drawn, and reveal deeper insight into Congolese art. Read More
Family education and government: a discourse in the Choctaw language.

Family education and government: a discourse in the Choctaw language.

By L. S. Williams. Boston: Printed for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, by Crocker & Brewster, 1835.
Adoption Amount: $1,200   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

North American Indian languages have been a strong research interest at the Smithsonian virtually since its founding, and SI Libraries holds about 20 published texts in Choctaw, primarily grammars, glossaries, and translations of the Bible. The latter work is particularly interesting in that it seems to be a translation of an early 19th-century English pamphlet on domestic and social life, albeit within a strong religious context. Read More
Ficus genus [Fig trees]

Ficus genus [Fig trees]

By Carl Peter Thunberg. Upsaliæ: apud J. Edman, [1786].
Adoption Amount: $350   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Figs form an ancient pan-tropical genus of over 850 species of trees and shrubs that are keystone species in rainforest ecosystems. They may have been the first plant cultivated by humans and play an important role in all of the major religions of the world. 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 systematist Carl von... Read More
Title Page of Fifty Years in Chains

Fifty Years in Chains

By Charles Ball. New York: H. Dayton ; Indianapolis, Indiana : Dayton & Asher, 1858.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

Fifty years in chains: or, the life of an American slave is an abridged and unauthorized 1858 reprint of the 1836 Slavery in the United States: a narrative of the life and adventures of Charles Ball... . As one of the earliest slave narratives, its influence on later works is a well-established phenomenon.  Not only is Charles Ball's simply stated verbal account of his life an inspiring story of courage and perseverance, his observations described within of his experience with planters and slaveholders is a valuable primary resource for 19th century Southern... Read More
Cover of Fight for Freedom

Fight for Freedom

By Laurence Santrey. Mahwah, N.J: Troll, c1983.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Anacostia Community Museum Library

This quick read is directed at teenagers. It is full of powerful black and white sketches. This book shares the fascinating story of Frederick Douglass's young life as well as trials that today's teens can relate to: young Fred’s early life, the deaths of his loved ones, changing his last name to avoid being tracked, learning to stand up for himself and fight, and learning about the importance of education. This biographic work is a classic coming of age true story.  Read More

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