Adopted Books

Displaying 41 - 50 of 677 adopted books..


Cover of God's trombones

God's Trombones

By James Weldon Johnson. New York: Viking Press, 1927.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Seven sermons, written in verse, inspired by memories of sermons by black preachers heard by Mr. Johnson in childhood.  They are titled: Listen, Lord; a prayer; The creation; The prodigal son; Go down death; A funeral sermon; Noah built the ark; The crucifixion; Let my people go; and The judgment day. The book is illustrated by Aaron Douglas, who was best known for his depiction of African-Americans in the 1920s-1930s notably a four panel mural for the New York Public Library entitled “Aspects of Negro Life” in 1934 for the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP).  
Photo of American golfer Francis Ouimet

Success at Golf

Boston: Little, Brown, 1914.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of American History Library

According to this 1914 book, “[t]here is no game in which inherent ability counts for more than it does in golf.” But as any golfer knows, your game can be improved by studying the professionals. Here six world-famous golfers explain the proper method of playing the strokes in which they excelled. Six-time British Open champion Harry Vardon covers the finer points of driving. No wonder his record of British Open wins still stands! Of particular note is the chapter on putting by American golfer Francis Ouimet, who won the U.S. Open in 1913 at the age of 20, beating the heavily favored Vardon...
title page of Animals in menageries

Animals in Menageries

By William Swainson. London: Printed for Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans, and J. Taylor, 1838.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Museum of Natural History Library

This beautifully illustrated manuscript describes animals found in zoos in the early-19th century, as well as more detailed accounts of birds discovered in the same era. It features black-and-white illustrations by William Swainson, a 19th century scientist who is now best remembered for his exquisite artistic skill. Swainson was at one time on a course to becoming a leading life scientist, despite suffering from health issues and having little formal training or education in the field.  His published studies and colorful illustrations sparked popular interest in orchids, birds, and other...
Plate from Singeries, Depicting Fencing Monkeys


By Christophe Huet. Paris: Chez Guelard ..., ca. 1750?.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Christophe Huet (1700-1759), French artist of the Rococo period, illustrated this rare first edition depicting examples of “singerie.” Singerie, derived from the French word “monkey trick," a visual genre which features fashionably attired monkeys humorously imitating human behavior became a popular and amusing diversion for the upper classes in 18th century France. Singerie were depicted in paintings by such artists as Jean-Antoine Watteau as well as motifs in marquetry, textiles, and porcelain. Around 1737, Huet painted six panels depicting monkeys dressed as human and performing human...
Page starts with O Lord

The Psalmbook

Pownal, VT: Mason Hill Press, 1978.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Psalms, the book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, is composed of sacred songs, or of sacred poems meant to be sung. These poems are often considered the most significant passages for religious liturgy and also some of the most beautiful literature in the world. The Mason Hill Press produced a beautiful, modernized version of The Psalmbook in 1978. The wood-engraved initials were created by Mark Livingston. Each psalm opens with one of Livingston’s vibrantly colored calligraphic initials or word alternating in colors of red, blue, or green. The 150 calligraphic...
Directions for making collections in natural history, prepared for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science

Directions for Making Collections in Natural History

By H. King, M.D.. Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1840.
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.
Opening of manuscript with musical notation and detailed decoration

Early Modern Liturgical Plainchant

By Catholic Church, issuing body. Italy?: mid-15th century.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

A circa 15th century Catholic liturgical manuscript, this volume is the largest book written on parchment in the Smithsonian Libraries. Created for the use of choirs to read from a distance, its scale is not surprising. It contains Gregorian plainchant and Latin text accompanied by beautiful red and blue illumination and decorated initials. The binding is original full leather adorned with brass “furniture” which also protects the book as it rubs against the shelves when taken off and placed back.
Cover of Once upon a time in Sedona

Once Upon a Time in Sedona

By William Howard. Sedona, AZ: Runamuck Publishers, ©1992.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Postal Museum Library

Signed by the author, this short historical biography is full of black-and-white photographs depicting life in Sedona, Arizona. It includes postal history. The front cover was designed by a cowboy artist who co-founded the Cowboy Artists of America. The author was a WWII naval veteran and photojournalist who had been living in Sedona for over two decades. This book is a compilation of oral histories. Twenty Sedona residents spoke with the author before they passed away.
Down-North and Up Along

Down-North and Up Along

By Margaret Warner Morley. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1900.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

Margaret Warner Morley was a biologist and educator who wrote seventeen books about nature around the turn of the 20th century when nature study surged in popularity. She wrote for broad audiences and her books were often incorporated into school curricula because of their factual and easy-to-read style. Our copy belonged to Alexander Wetmore, the Smithsonian’s sixth Secretary, who was himself a naturalist. Wetmore’s personal library was filled with expedition narratives like this travel account into Nova Scotia. Down-North and Up Along, published in 1900, is also a great example...
Book cover of Chrysandtheumum Culture for America

Chrysanthemum Culture for America

By James Morton. New York: Rural Publishing Company, 1891.
Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: Botany and Horticulture Library

In 19th century America, as the middle class grew, more people had time to garden for pleasure. That is when books on flower gardening became popular. Chrysanthemum Culture for America (1891) by James Morton was one of the earliest American publications on the history and care of chrysanthemums. At the time, the famous horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey considered it the best book “written by an American” on the flower. The name “chrysanthemum” comes from the Greek words “chrysos” (gold) and “anthos” (flower) meaning “golden flower.” Chrysanthemums, commonly referred to as...