Category Archives: research

The Almost-End of Month Two

pc dibner bookThis second month in Washington has been focused on the collection at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.  It’s one of the smallest libraries in the Smithsonian system.  (I am guessing, but now I would like to know: what is the smallest one in this massive institution?)  As such, it has a staff of two, and during my month I have seen maybe a half-dozen other readers come and go.  The two people who run the joint happen to be super excellent specimens of humanity, which only embellishes what is already a great experience getting my hands on great little books (like the one you see above) as well as some pretty big folios and long runs of journals, all about building, engineering and that kind of stuff from the mid-nineteenth century.  Very cool stuff.

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Microfilm

boticelli abyss

Botticelli, The Abyss of Hell. Pen and brush on vellum (32 x 47 cm), dated c. 1485; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

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When the Archivist says the Thing I Most Wanted To See Is Missing/Unavailable/Not On The Shelf/Apparently Lost to Me Forever

He was nice about it, very apologetic.  Took my contact info in case the Archives Fairy suddenly reveals where it is held.  But still.  UGH.

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