Ex Libris Universum

Thursday, 23 April 2020

April Photos of the Month

Portrait of E. Margaret Burbidge


"It is the stars, The stars above us, govern our conditions." (King Lear, Act IV, Scene 3)

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves.” (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2)


Monday, 13 April 2020


Einstein’s theory of relativity contains scientific principles that are commonplace in the activities of our daily lives, often without our cognizance of their effects. However, something that I struggle with as a library professional - and I’m sure many other people grapple with - is the ability to completely understand Einstein’s theory from a non-scientific viewpoint. I can read the words, but do I understand precisely what the words mean and the intricacies of how they impact my everyday life? In most instances, my answer is no.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Q and A with a real, live Niels Bohr Library & Archives book researcher!

One of the most rewarding and exciting parts of working in a library and archives is interacting with the researchers who need our collections for their books, articles, documentaries, radio programs, theses, and other projects. We caught up with Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D., who explored our archival collections while researching and writing her new book, fresh off the press: The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, published April 7, 2020.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives, like many institutions, has a backlog of donations. As the library’s metadata specialist, I am regularly processing books that, while new to NBLA, are generally a few decades old. This is not to say that we have a decade-old backlog. Rather, our donations often come from physicists whose collections span the length of their careers. This year, I cataloged a donation that included nine different editions of the same textbook: Conceptual Physics.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

March Photos of the Month

Annie Jump Cannon

As discussed in our recent post, “Curating the Sky,” the NBLA team took a field trip to the theater last month. We caught the metro into D.C. one afternoon to see the Ford’s Theater production of Silent Sky, a play about the life and work of astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt. We have the play’s script in our library collections and were very eager to see it come to life on the stage!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Our Emilio Segrè Visual Archives is a unique collection of photos, but not everyone knows that it also has an associated unique collection of printable coloring pages! 

Please click on the PDFs to print and enjoy these custom coloring pages based on ESVA images: 


Tuesday, 11 February 2020

February Photos of the Month

In the very first weeks filling my new position, AV/Media Archivist, the library received emails from a potential donor of photographs. With the realization that it was now my job to handle things like donations, I responded to the donor- a gentleman named Martin Blustine- with both nervousness and excitement.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

A longer chat with the NBLA librarians

Some of our librarians had even more to say after our staff Q&A earlier this month