• Articles

    Seeds in the Stacks

    Hello and welcome to Seeds in the Stacks. My name is Grace Costantino, and I’m and I’m the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. And today we are behind the scenes at the USDA National Agricultural Library where Special Collections Librarian Amy Morgan and Special Collections Archivist Sara Lee will be showing us some of the seed and nursery catalogs from the Library’s collection. So if you’ve been following BHL on social media you may have seen information about the Smithsonian Libraries/ Smithsonian Gardens Cultivating America’s Gardens exhibit which is currently on display at the National Museum of American History. That exhibit features vintage seed and nursery…

  • Do We Still Need Libraries?
    Articles,  Blog

    Do We Still Need Libraries?

    With almost unlimited access to a wide array of knowledge online, do we still need libraries? And do phones, computers, tablets and other devices make brick and mortar libraries obsolete? While some think that libraries are expensive and rarely used, others argue that they’re still essential social spaces that provide vital resources for communities. Today, I’ll be discussing how libraries got started and if they still play a useful role in society. The modern library emerged in the 19th century, but libraries have ancient origins. It’s difficult to determine what the first library was. According to Yale’s Cuneiform Commentaries Project, Mesopotamia had three types of libraries, temple, palace and private.…