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An Odyssey in Print : Adventures in the Smithsonian Libraries - Smithsonian Institution Libraries Staff

An Odyssey in Print

Adventures in the Smithsonian Libraries

By: Mary Augusta Thomas, Smithsonian Institution Libraries Staff (Contribution by), Michael Dirda (Contribution by), Storrs L. Olson (Contribution by)

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Situated at the centre of the world's largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries links the holdings of 22 Smithsonian museums and research centres into one system encompassing 1.5 million books and manuscripts.

The expansive collection includes many rare and unusual works equal to the celebrated art and artifacts of the Smithsonian's museums.

This illustrated accompaniment to a Smithsonian Libraries exhibition of the same name provides a three-part expedition through the collection. The first presents works such as a 1511 edition of Ptolemy's Liber geographiae (Book of Geography) and the pop-up book Buck Rogers, 25th century, featuring Buddy and Allura in Strange Adventures in the Spider Ship to illustrate how the world has been imagined, seen, and recorded by Europeans and Americans. The second journey explores how scientists have extended our understanding of the world, and includes a 1641 edition of Galileo's Systema cosmicum (System of the world) and a copy of Walden inscribed by Henry David Thoreau to Spencer Baird, then assistant secretary of the newly founded Smithsonian Institution.

The final section journeys through the imaginations of artists, architects, and book designers, presenting a 1535 edition of Albrecht Durer's Institutionum geometricarum (Geometric instruction) and Doxford Opposed Piston Oil Engine, a paper-and-board pamphlet from 1922 with movable pistons and levers.

The book includes essays by Michael Dirda and Storrs L. Olson and accompanies the exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

About the Author

Mary Augusta Thomas is the Smithsonian Institution Libraries exhibition curator for "An Odyssey in Print"; Nancy E. Gwinn is the Libraries' director.

Realms of Wonder
A Voyage through the Smithsonian Libraries
The Curator and the Book

Part 1
Journeys Over Land and Sea

Part 2
Journeys of the Mind

Part 3
Journeys of the Imagination


ISBN: 9781588340368
ISBN-10: 1588340368
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 179
Published: 2nd February 2002
Dimensions (cm): 25.000 x 20.000  x 26.04
Weight (kg): 0.568