Fly Me to the Moon

Photo by Allison White/PEM.

As a reference librarian one of my favorite parts of my job is helping researchers find the answers to their (many) burning questions.  Most often, this involves working with our patrons in the reading room.  However, on several happy occasions, it has meant working with the PEM curatorial staff doing exhibition research and development.  Most recently, the library has worked in close conjunction with the curatorial team working on Lunar Attractions, which just opened in the Art and Nature Center. Read more

Ikebana with Keiko Thayer

Melissa Woods

Keiko Thayer’s ikebana piece, created in PEM’s Japanese gallery. Photo credit Allison White.

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, goes back as far as the 6th century. Originating from a blend of Buddhist and Shinto traditions, it transforms flower arrangement into a meditative and artistic act, emphasizing the form not just of flower buds, but of the leaves and stems of the plants, resulting in elegant compositions that bring pleasure to the senses and focus to the mind. Read more

A Closer Look into a Lesser Known Collection: the Nathaniel B. Mansfield Papers

Box 56, folder 1


The Nathaniel B. Mansfield Papers, or collection MH 156, is one of the Phillips Library’s recently processed manuscript collections.  A rather large collection consisting of 78 boxes, 2 flat files, and over 60 volumes, the Nathaniel B. Mansfield Papers arrived at the Peabody Museum in the 1950s, and documents the merchant and shipping business of this Salem based merchant, in addition to containing some personal papers.  One of only a handful of manuscript collections at the Phillips Library about trade with West Africa, this collection holds a number of very interesting items.

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