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Icy Volcanism in the Outer Solar System Lecture on September 16

Did you know that there are frozen volcanoes that spew icy particles and water vapor, instead of fiery molten rock? You’ll have to travel millions or billions of miles into the outer solar system to find icy volcanism, also known as cryovolcanism. Many of NASA’s missions to the far-reaches of our solar system have provided evidence […]

Counting the Miles: Thomas Jefferson’s Quest for an Odometer

Today’s post is guest authored by Julie Miller, historian of early America in the Library’s Manuscript Division. Julie has written for Inside Adams before- see her post on “The President and the Parsnip: Thomas Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart (1801-1808).” Thomas Jefferson, who liked to count and measure everything, coveted an odometer. While in Paris as […]

Celestial Charts: Exploring and Observing Space at the Geography and Map Division

Today’s post is from Carlyn Osborn, a Library Technician in the Geography and Map Division. Carlyn has a B.A. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies. With high-resolution images of Pluto and the search for […]

NASA Looks at Landslides, Lecture on August 11

When we think of natural disasters, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and floods often come to mind, but landslides are one of the most prevalent hazards that exist. NASA scientists study all of these, and the next speaker in our NASA/Goddard lecture series, Dalia Kirschbaum, specializes in the remote sensing and modeling of landslides. Dr. Kirschbaum will […]

The “Splendid Purchase” of the Tissandier Collection of Aeronautics

Today’s post is guest authored by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a science reference specialist in the Library’s Science, Technology, and Business Division.  She is also the author of the blog posts Marie Curie: A Gift of Radium, George Washington Carver and Nature Study and Stumbled Upon in the Stacks, or the Chimp in my Office.   It was a […]

Seeing American Enterprise at the Smithsonian

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian – American Enterprise in the Innovation wing of the National Museum of American History – is telling the history of American business and innovation.   According to the Smithsonian, this exhibit “chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business–and American life.” […]

Nabu and Tahmurath in Bronze

The exterior bronze doors of the John Adams Building Building depict figures that brought learning, knowledge, and communication to the world. We have done individual posts on several already, but this post features two that are paired together – Nabu and Tahmurath. Nabu was the scribe for Marduk (often referred to as Bel), who was […]

The Conchologists: Searching for Seashells in 19th Century America

In the 19th century naturalists and enlightened amateurs in the U.S. cultivated an understanding of the natural world of this new country by documenting new and known varieties of plant and animal species. One of these scientific pursuits was conchology- the study and collection of marine, freshwater and terrestrial shells. The story of American conchology […]

“An almost inexcusable catastrophe” – Explosion at the Washington Arsenal

On June 17, 1864 an explosion at the Washington Arsenal in Washington, D.C. killed 21 women. Most were young, Irish immigrants who made the explosives used by the Union during the Civil War. Within the labor movement, this event is seen as a milestone–not because of any changes that were made in the aftermath, but […]