The Shades of Things Lecture
Join the Smithsonian Libraries on March 21 for a lecture, The Shades of Things: A History of Color Dictionaries and Descriptive Charts in the 19th and 20th Centuries, featuring Dan Lewis. Lewis is the Dibner Senior Curator for the History of Science and Technology at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and author of Belonging on an Island: A Modern History of Hawaiian Birds in Four Species (forthcoming) and The Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds. This free event starts at 6:00 p.m. in the National Museum of Natural History's Baird Auditorium. To RSVP, call 202.633.2241 or email

Quantifying color has always been slippery business. How have people interested in the subject come up with a common language - and common colors - so that people can talk comparatively and accurately about colors? In a world without universally-accepted color terminology or standards, dictionaries in the nineteenth and early twentieth century laid essential groundwork for modern color systems such as the Pantone system. This talk will discuss the ways that color dictionaries and descriptive charts gave naturalists, and many others, a language that was both visual and textual, for identifying with much greater precision just what a color was, and what a color name meant.
SI Global Highlights Libraries Exhibition
Smithsonian Global is currently featuring the Libraries' 2016 exhibition, Come Together: American Artists Respond to Al-Mutanabbi Street, which ran at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library (Feb. 1- March 30). The site also includes a video interview about the exhibition with Anne Evenhaugen, head librarian at the Library.

Al-Mutanabbi Street is the historic center of bookselling in Baghdad, Iraq, and has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community for centuries. On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street, and more than 130 people were killed or wounded. In response to the attack, a community of international artists and writers produced poetry, letterpress-printed broadsides, and artists' books. Come Together displayed artists' books and prints by American artists, showing support for the booksellers, writers, and readers affected by the tragedy, as well as reflecting on the loss of cultural expressions.
SIL Welcomes Three New Board Members
The Libraries is thrilled to announce three new members on our Advisory Board: Tim Schantz, Jackie Vossler, and Amy Threefoot Valeiras. 
Tim Schantz is a senior financial executive with broad domestic and international experience in both developed and emerging markets and in a wide range of financial arenas, including asset and wealth management, corporate and structured finance, investment/merchant banking, and alternative investing. He has also cultivated a lifelong interest in history, politics, and strategy. Tim currently serves on the leadership team of The History Factory in Washington, DC as its Managing Director of Archives and Content Solutions and as a Vice Chairman of Clear Harbor Asset Management of New York.

Jackie Vossler is retired as founder and president of Core Group, a Chicago-based product design and marketing company specializing in outdoor products. She has had a career and interest in design with special enthusiasms for the book arts, Southwestern Art, and Art Deco. Jackie has been a member of the Chicago Art Deco Society for many years and serves on its board. Jackie is also the Vice President of the Caxton Club, a 120-year-old organization of bibliophiles. She is a member of the Council of the Bibliographic Society of America, the University of Chicago Library Society, the Society of Collectors of the Newberry Library, and the Library Friends of the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign.

Amy Threefoot Valeiras is a clay artist and proprietor of Threefoot Clay, a studio in downtown La Jolla, Calif. Amy is an active member of the San Diego Potters' Guild, a group dedicated to education and the proliferation of the clay arts. A native of New Orleans, she has lived and studied pottery in Pennsylvania, London, England, and California. Amy has dedicated her time and efforts beyond clay to education and libraries. She served as Board Chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation which supports 36 libraries. During her service on the Foundation Board, a new San Diego Central Library was built and opened, a strategic plan implemented and processes developed to bring together library stakeholders. Amy also served as President of the Parents Association and on the Board of The Bishop's School in La Jolla and on the Public Library Friends' Boards in Gladwyne, Pa. and La Jolla. 
SIL Opens Online Exhibition on Presidential History
Explore the Smithsonian Libraries' new online exhibition, U.S. Presidents and Inaugurations, on the Google Arts & Culture platform. Google Arts & Culture is a new, free, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders from over a thousand organizations worldwide. Using books from our vast collection, the exhibition, launched on President's Day, covers presidential history from George Washington onward. The Libraries' participation in Google Arts & Culture is possible through a partnership between the Smithsonian and Google. Stay tuned for more upcoming exhibitions from the Libraries - from fashion to gardening - on this digital platform.
AA/PG Library Accepts ASL Donation
The Smithsonian Libraries announces the donation of research ephemera for more than 4,000 artists from the Art Students League of New York (ASL), to be housed at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library. The gift consists of secondary source material on the lives and careers of artists affiliated with the Art Students League as students, instructors, and board members, with particular strength in artists active in the mid-twentieth century. The nucleus of the collection began as the reference files of Ralph Mayer, painter, conservator, and author of The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. The files were heavily supplemented by noted art critic, artist and unofficial historian of the ASL, Lawrence Campbell, and were maintained in part to produce the League's annual catalog and newsletters between 1948 and 1995. Read more on the Libraries' blog.
Libraries Hosts BHL NDSR Workshop
On February 1-3, the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Cohort for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) convened at the Smithsonian Libraries for an intensive two-day workshop followed by tours of local library and museum collections. The highly competitive NDSR program, created by the Library of Congress in partnership with the Institute of Museum of Library Services, provides opportunities for recent graduates to contribute in meaningful ways to the research, planning and development of new digital approaches for preservation and access. 

As part of the BHL NDSR project, entitled Foundations to Actions, five residents, stationed at geographically-dispersed BHL partner institutions, will work on interrelated projects to improve the discoverability and functionality of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The residents' research output will outline best practices for digital stewardship in libraries, archives, and museums. Participating residents are Alicia Esquivel (Chicago Botanic Garden); Marissa Kings (Los Angeles County Natural History Museum); Pamela McClanahan (Smithsonian Libraries); Katie Mika (Harvard University: Museum of Comparative Zoology); and Ariadne Rehbein (Missouri Botanical Garden). You can learn more about the Foundations to Actions project on the BHL website.
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