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Regni vegetabilis systema naturale; sive, Ordines, genera et species plantarum secundum methodi naturalis normas digestarum et descriptarum / auctore Aug. Pyramo de Candolle

Smithsonian Libraries
Printer from verso of title page

According to F.A. Stafleu and R.S. Cowan in Taxonomic literature (2nd edition), item 993, volume 1 was published between November 1-15, 1817 (although the title page is dated 1818), and volume 2 was published in late May, 1821

"Venitque in eorumdem bibliopoliis Argentorati et Londini"

Includes indexes

Stafleu, F.A. Taxonomic literature (2nd ed.), 993

Also available online


SCNHRB has two copies

SCNHRB copy 1 (volume 1, 39088006138903, volume 2, 39088006138911) has bookplate: Library of A.S. Hitchcock and Agnes Chase; with "A.S. Hitchcock" stamped on the title pages. An illegible handwritten former owner's name is on the front free endpaper

SCNHRB copy 1 has old half-leather bindings with black paste-paper boards; gilt-tooled spine; orange spine label (lacking on volume 1); marbled endpapers and red edges

SCNHRB copy 2 (volume 1, 39088006138887, volume 2, 39088006138895) has bookplates: 1. John Donnell Smith, 505 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD; 2. Ex libris quos Institutioni Smithsonianae anno MCMV donavit John Donnell Smith, accessio n. D18-D19; with stamp on title page: Smithsonian Institution Special Collections Jul. 17, 1929; and the name of a former owner stamped in gold at the foot of the spines: L. Drevault [formerly chief gardener of l'École de pharmacie, avenue de l'Observatoire, 6, Paris, France]

SCNHRB copy 2, volume 1 has a tear at the top of pages 209-210, not affecting the text; and copy 2, volume 2 has a tear on pages 107-108, affecting the text which is still legible. A few of the page gatherings in copy 2, volume 1 are still unopened

SCNHRB copy 2 has an old black quarter-leather binding with green and black mottled paper boards; raised bands; gilt-tooled spine; and marbled endpapers

Franken, Text & Bildersammlung von Josef Ritz .

Smithsonian Libraries
Also available online.


Dollars for Donuts in Monrovia, Liberia

National Museum of American History

If you were to buy a donut and cup of coffee at the Donut Bar in the Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia, Liberia, you would more than likely pay using U.S. dollars. Your change, however, would include a mix of U.S. dollars and Liberian dollars, with the latter holding a lower value and thus serving as small change in place of coins. Why do U.S. dollars circulate in Liberia? And how did this dual currency system emerge?

A 100-dollar note.100-dollar note, Liberia, 2011, donated by Leigh Gardner

A dual currency system has existed in Liberia since the late 1800s. It can be a source of great hardship for Liberians, who might be paid in Liberian dollars but need to purchase imported food or other goods in U.S. dollars. This is particularly true when the value of the Liberian dollar falls relative to the U.S. dollar, as it has in recent years.

The Liberian dollar was created when Liberia declared independence in 1847. One of the first acts of the Liberian government was to establish its own currency—in the words of Joseph Roberts, the first president of Liberia, “to mark the existence and the nationality of the Republic.”

The front and back of a bronze coin.One-cent pattern coin, Republic of Liberia, 1862, donated by Paul A. Straub

The first Liberian coins tell the history of the Liberian state. One side features the image of a palm tree with a sailing ship, representing the two key sources of Liberian wealth: trade and palm oil. The other side depicts an allegorical female figure wearing what is known as a Phrygian cap or freedom cap, associated in classical imagery with formerly enslaved people.

Such a reference was particularly relevant in Liberia, which was founded in 1822 as a colony for freed African-Americans from the United States. Between 1820 and 1904, some 16,000 African-Americans migrated to Liberia. When they arrived, they found multiple currencies circulating in the region, the most important of which was the iron Kissi penny, pictured below.

A metal rod.Kissi penny, Liberia, 19th and 20th centuries, donated by The Chase Manhattan Bank

The American Colonization Society and its subsidiary societies, which organized the migration, also issued their own coins and notes that migrants could use at company stores for the purchase of supplies. The Liberian dollar was intended to replace these when Liberia declared itself an independent state.

A note with a rooster on it.10-cent note, Maryland State Colonization Society 1837, donated by The Chase Manhattan 

When the Liberian dollar was issued in 1847, it had to compete not only with indigenous currencies like the Kissi penny, but also with European currencies like British pounds, shillings, and pence. The Liberian government struggled with debt throughout its early history, and one quick source of revenue was to print paper notes like this one from 1880.

A bank note.25-cent note, Republic of Liberia, 1880, donated by the Department of the Treasury

While printing money provided a short-term solution to the Liberian government’s financial difficulties, it had a long-term cost. Much like today, the Liberian dollar began to lose its value against these other currencies. This made imported goods, for example, much more expensive. For the Liberian government, it also increased the cost of paying interest on its foreign debt. As a result, merchants and then the government began to use the colonial currency of British West Africa instead.

A silver coin.One penny coin, British West Africa, 1936, donated by Paul A. Straub

This became Liberia’s main form of currency until 1943, though the Liberian dollar still circulated as small change, such as this two-cent coin from 1941.

A coin with an elephant on it.Two-cent coin, Liberia, 1941, donated by The Chase Manhattan Bank

Despite its use of British West African currency, Liberia’s economic relationships with the United States grew closer during the 1900s. From 1912, the Liberian government’s debt was in U.S. dollars, while tax revenue was collected in British West African currency. When the value of the pound declined relative to the dollar during the 1930s, it became more difficult for the government to pay the interest on its debts. Finally, in 1943, with financial help from the U.S. government, the U.S. dollar replaced British West African shillings as the primary currency in circulation.  

The Liberian government has tried over the years to return to a single currency system based on the Liberian dollar, however many people still use U.S. dollars for everyday transactions. Around the world, the U.S. dollar is frequently used by people who want to use a more stable currency for transactions, even if it isn’t their national currency. The story of the dollar in Liberia shows that this is nothing new. As the saying goes, it is dollars to donuts that once a country adopts a foreign currency, it will have difficulty reversing the decision.

This story of the role of the U.S. dollar in Liberia is now featured in the New Acquisitions case in The Value of Money exhibition.

Leigh A. Gardner is an associate professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics. Ellen Feingold is the curator of the National Numismatic collection.

The Value of Money is made possible through leadership support from Bill Gale, Lilly Endowment Inc., Lee and Saundra Minshull, an anonymous donor, and contributions from many others in the numismatic community.

Leigh A. Gardner and Ellen Feingold
Posted Date: 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 14:15
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Waist Not, Want Not

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Author: Virginia Pollock While this textile might seem unrecognizable to modern eyes, to consumers in eighteenth-century France this textile was an object of fashionable and economic significance. These uncut waistcoat fronts display the layout of a pattern, adorned with copperplate printed motifs of vegetal imagery, intertwined dolphins, and a wooded scene at the bottom with...

Representation Matters: Bringing Women’s Stories Into the Classroom Through American Art and Portraiture

Smithsonian American Art Museum
A photograph of six different artworks on postcards.A collaboration between SAAM and NPG illuminates the lives and works of women artists in our collections.

Crossing the Border with Hugo Crosthwaite

National Portrait Gallery

Hugo Crosthwaite, winner of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, traces his artistic influences to his parents' curio shop in Tijuana, where statues of Aztec gods co-existed with Bart Simpson. Fast-forward to his winning entry, and he walks us through the first scene of his stunning stop-motion drawing animation about a woman who crosses the border from Mexico into the United States.

You can see Hugo’s video at this link:

Check out earlier episodes plus the images we discussed at our website:

Oral history interview with George E. Downing, 1973 March 22

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 1 sound file : digital, wav file

Transcript: 21 pages

An interview with George E. Downing conducted 1973 March 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Margret Craver Withers, 1983-1985

Archives of American Art
5 sound cassettes (9 1/2 hrs.) : analog + 37 col. slides.

Transcript: 115 pages.

An interview with Margret Craver Withers conducted 1983-1985, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Withers discusses her childhood in Kansas; early education; and aptitude for drawing.Education in art and design, including studying crafts at the University of Kansas, 1925-29; her position as a grade school teacher in Kansas and as a crafts instructor at Wichita Art Association, 1930s; study with various master metalworkers, including Arthur Nevill Kirk, Arthur J. Stone, Leonard Heinrich and Wilson Weir in the USA, and Baron Erik Fleming in Sweden.Development of Hospital Service Program, with the support of Handy and Harman, precious metal refiners, during World War II, to train army therapists in metalworking for disabled soldiers; supervision in post-War period of Handy and Harman's Craft Service Department, producing films on hand-wrought silver, a traveling exhibition of outstanding contemporary silver, instructional brochures, and a series of workshops for American silversmiths, taught by European masters.Marriage in 1950 to Charles Withers, president of Towle Silver, and that company's policy of employing top designers; Towle's commissioning of works in silver from top modern sculptors; her making of silver holloware and jewelry for private clients; her re-invention of the en resille process for enameling (1959) and in the early 1980s her invention of a process for combining enamel, glass, and silver and gold leaf in jewelry; and her involvement in crafts organizations.She discusses her en resille enameling technique. [This session is transcribed, and is accompanied by slides of the work discussed].

Poster advertising Marlon Riggs In Person!

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black-and-white poster with a non-glossy surface. The poster features a black-and-white photograph of Marlon Riggs. Riggs stands in the foreground looking at the camera, wearing a leather vest with nothing underneath, a necklace, and a fedora with bow on bottom of its proper left crown standing. Two men stand behind Riggs and hug with their faces looking towards the camera. They are all in front of a white background with graffiti on it. The graffiti designs include: stick figures holding hands a sun, text that reads [Brothers], etc. Text above the photograph in white and white-outlined type reads: [MARLON RIGGS / IN PERSON!]. Text in white type, below the photograph, reads: [TUE - WED, NOV 5-6]. Underneath, in a solid white line bordered box, in two columns, white type text reads: left column [Tuesday / TONGUES UNTIED and ANTHEM / TUES at 6:30 and 9:45 / ETHNIC NOTIONS, LONG TRAIN RUNNING and AFFIRMATIONS / TUES at 7:40 / Marlon Riggs will speak from 9:10 until 9:45]; right column [Wednesday / COLOR ADJUSTMENT In Marlon Riggs' brand new film viewers will see the familiar - primetime TV - with new insight, and will examine how network entertainment has shaped, mirrored and sometimes distorted the social reality of black/white relations since the civil rights movement. Color. 90 mins. 1991 / WED at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 and 9:30 / Marlon Riggs will speak between 8:30 and 9:30]. Along bottom center is the Roxie Cinema logo, which reads: [ROXIE CINEMA / 3117 16th (at Valencia) 863-1087] in white type, with horizontal white lines running on top of the text Roxie Cinema. The back of the poster is white and mostly blank. There is a small inscription written in bottom left corner in pencil that reads: [1992].

Muhammad Ali v. Floyd Patterson boxing ticket

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A yellow admission ticket for a boxing match between Champion Muhammad Ali and Challenger Floyd Patterson. The ticket is made of yellow paper with red and black ink on it. There are two photo portraits visible next to Ali and Patterson's names. The back of the ticket is blank.

Melrose Plantation Cookbook

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A copy of the Melrose Plantation Cookbook by Clementine Hunter and Francois Mignon. The book is paperback and bound with a plastic binding comb on the left spine. The front and back cover are identical, with a faded photograph of the Melrose Plantation house with wrap-around veranda, gabled roof, and garden taking up the top half of the cover. The bottom half faded yellow field with the title printed in dark ink in a gothic font with the authors names below. The front cover has a white sticker with the library's call number adhered to the upper left corner reading [TX / 715 / .M53x]. The interior of the book has a book plate for the Library of Stephen F. Austin Statue University as well as a Due Date slip. The contents of the book include an illustrated map and several pages of photographs of the Melrose Plantation, Clementine Hunter (one features her signature), and Francois Mignon. The text consists of a seven page introduction, and 31 recipes.

Glossy color concert poster for Labelle at the Metropolitan Opera House

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A glossy color poster of a concert Labelle performed at the Metropolitan Opera House. The top two-thirds of the poster is the color image of Labelle's album cover Nightbird, which depicts deliberately blurred images (to show movement) of Patti LaBelle wearing green, Nona Hendryx wearing yellow, and Sarah Dash wearing orange, set against a black background. The figures vary in size. The text on top of the color portion of the poster reads, along the top border, in orange print: "LABELLE/NIGHTBIRDS" and at the center left border, in orange print, at an angle: "LADY MARMALADE / SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE / ARE YOU LONELY? / IT TOOK A LONG TIME / DON'T BRING ME DOWN" and "WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? / NIGHTBIRD / SPACE CHILDREN / ALL GIRL BAND / YOU TURN ME ON." The bottom one-third of the poster is white with black centered type, and reads: "LABELLE AT THE MET. / Labelle In Concert at the Metropolitan Opera House, Sunday, October 6, 8PM / Tickets: $10, 7.50, 7.25, 7, 6.25, 4.50. / Available now at the Metropolitan Opera box office, / Lincoln Center, Broadway at 65th Street, / and at Ticketron outlets. NO MAIL ORDERS. / For information call 541-7290 / WEAR SOMETHING SILVER".

Easter Monday at the Zoo

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of Easter Monday at the National Zoo, 1939. The photograph features people walking on the grounds of the Zoo. At the center of the photograph three people are sitting on a bench amidst trees.

Program from the first Los Angeles Rams home game

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Game program for football match between the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins. Front cover of program features a color illustration of a man in a football uniform carrying a football. Man is wearing an orange jersey with the number "32". Black type on front cover of program reads, "LOS ANGELES TIMES / SECOND ANNUAL ALL-CHARITY / FOOTBALL GAME / LOS ANGELES / RAMS / VS. / WASHINGTON / REDSKINS / COLISEUM / FRIDAY / NIGHT / Sept. 6th / Souvenir Program / Selling Price - - - - ..244 / Sales Tax - - - - - .006 / Total Price - - .25."

Photograph of girl reading on a pallet of newspapers at the Pittsburgh Courier

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of a young girl sitting on a pallet of Pittsburgh Courier newspapers. The young girl holds a copy of the newspaper across her lap with both her hands while looking directly into the camera. There is an imprint of a palm tree in the bottom right corner of the border on the front of the photograph. The back of the photograph has an inscription of the numbers: [1131], [1131.04], and a photographer's stamp.

Photograph of Eunice Cook inspecting a jail cell at Centre Avenue police station

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of Eunice Cook inspecting a bed at Centre Avenue police station. Cook is wearing a pencil skirt, matching blazer, and large-brimmed hat. She stands next to a bed and pulls up the sheets from the end of the mattress. The camera angle is from the exterior of the room so that the wall and open door are visible; both wall and door have cutouts with metal bars fitted into the empty spaces. The back of the photograph has a barcode sticker and a yellow circle sticker at center.

Photograph of Jesse Owens with a man and two boys at Allegheny County Airport

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This black and white photograph depicts Jesse Owens wearing a hat and an overcoat over his suit while standing next to two young boys and another man in a suit. This groups stands next to a large brick building's entrance. Behind Owens' group is a second group of men and one woman who also wear suits. The back of the photograph has a label from the Pittsburgh Courier Archives.

Photographic print of the Pittsburgh Crawfords

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team in dugout at Forbes Field. The team are all standing on the steps of the dugout and looking out towards the field. A line of baseball bats and some catcher's equipment are in front of the dugout and team. Spectators fill the first tier of stands behind the dugout in the background of the image. The front bottom right corner has a number [105] written in blue ink. The back of the photograph is blank.

Photographic print of the 1941 Homestead Grays

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of Homestead Grays baseball team posed on Forbes Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The team is pictured in two rows with team manager Seward "See" Posey sitting in front at center. The first row, kneeling, from the left, includes: kneeling from left: Robert "Rab Roy" Gaston, Johnny Wright, Buck Leonard, Terris McDuffie, Roy Partlow, Jud Wilson, and unknown. The second row, standing, from the left includes: J. C. Hamilton, Dave Whatley, Vic Harris, Ray Brown, Chester Williams, Howard Easterling, and Matt Carlisle. The bottom right corner has an inscription of the number: [340]. The back of the photograph is blank.

Photographic print of Louis Armstrong and Ann Baker in a booth at Crawford Grill

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black and white photograph of Louis Armstrong and Ann Baker sitting in a booth at the Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Armstrong is sitting on the interior and Baker on the outside. They both are looking at the camera and there are some cups on top of the table. There is an inscription in the bottom right corner that reads: [752]. The back of the photograph is blank.

Black wireless microphone used on The Oprah Winfrey Show

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black wireless handheld microphone used by Oprah Winfrey on the The Oprah Winfrey Show. The microphone has a cylindrical handle ending in a blunt edge at the bottom, with the metal grill at the top covered in a black foam windscreen. A band of black adhesive tape is attached around the microphone where the windscreen meets the metal handle. A panel near the bottom of the handle opens with a flat screw. On the flat bottom of the handle are two (2) black plastic toggle switches. The switch on the left is labeled with an "M" and the switch on the rights is labeled with a "P".

Black wireless microphone used on The Oprah Winfrey Show

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black wireless, handheld microphone used by Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The metal grill at the top of the microphone is covered with a black foam windscreen. The microphone has a cylindrical handle that is a silver-blue toned metal, with a black shaft that has been attached up one side and that protrudes below the rest of the handle. A small rectangular display screen is placed on the black shaft below the windscreen, with the brand "SENNHEISER" printed in gray along the shaft below the display screen. A clear or black square adhesive label with the number "1" typed on it is attached below the brand name. The portion of the black shaft that protrudes below the rest of the handle has an angular bottom with a flattened point. Text with manufacturer and technical information is printed in gray on the black plastic on the bottom of the protruding shaft. A red on/off toggle switch is placed at the back of the handle base opposite the protruding shaft portion. Additional technical information is etched into the bottom of the blue-tinted portion of the handle.

Gold wireless microphone and black case used on The Oprah Winfrey Show

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A wireless gold-plated microphone (.1ab) and case (.2) used by Oprah Winfrey during episodes of Season 24 of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The hand-held microphone has a circular gold mesh wire grill with a flattened top covering the foam interior of the microphone. The grill is bisected around the sides by a band of gold-plated metal. The grill is attached to a gold-plated cylindrical handle. The handle is made from two pieces, with a small rectangular digital display screen on the top half of the handle bordered by gray plastic, with "G1 470-530 MHZ" printed in white type below it. A smaller round-edged cylindrical piece of black plastic protrudes from the bottom of the handle with the text "SHURE" in relief on the tip and an On/Off switch where the tip meets the handle. The bottom half of the handle (b) screws off to reveal a battery chamber that holds two (2) AA batteries. Opposite the battery chamber is a digital push-button menu with four (4) buttons reading clockwise from top: up-facing arrow, "enter", down-facing arrow, "exit". The button menu is directly below the digital display screen on the exterior of the top half of the handle. Beneath the buttons is a manufacturer's label with serial and model numbers, and a key for the menu buttons.

.2: A black hard plastic briefcase-style case for the microphone (.1ab). The case is rectangular with rounded corners and a sloping angle on the top side around the handle and clasps. Gold text is painted on the front of the case reading "SHURE ®" in the top left facing corner, "UHF-R (R) Wireless Systems" in the top right facing corner, and "Audio/Reference/Companding" in the bottom left facing corner. Opaque white adhesive tape is placed at the center top edge with black typed text reading "OPRAH'S GOLD MIC". The top of the case has a rounded handle at the center, with two (2) gray plastic clasps, one on either side of the handle. There are plastic ridges on the bottom of the case that act as feet when the case is closed and standing upright. Inside the case on both the top and bottom is gray soft foam with shapes cut out to so the microphone and its components can be nested inside.

Armchairs used on The Oprah Winfrey Show

National Museum of African American History and Culture
These two ochre textured leather armchairs, both alike, were used on the set of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Each chair is shaped with a deep, rectangular seat, padded arms with a slight, rounded curve, and a padded back with a scalloped top edge. The padded seat cushion for each chair is attached at the back of the chair with two (2) lengths of black elastic with a metal D-ring that fasten to corresponding metal clips on the cushion. Four (4) dark-stained short wooden legs extend from each bottom corner of the chairs. Decorative piping in the ochre leather is sewn around the edges of the back, the front arms, and the seat cushion. Under the cushion, the chair is lined with matching ochre heavy-weight fabric. A label for the upholstery company Weber Furniture Service LLC is adhered to the lining at the front edge of the seat.
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