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Preview — Souvenir Nation by William L. Bird Jr.
Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes, and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
The objects described and pictured here are from the collection of the Division of Political History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Princeton Architectural Press
(first published April 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 51)
Rather bland collection of items from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Exceptions include the dishtowel used as a white flag of truce by a confederate soldier before Lee and Grant met to end the Civil War and a stone from the dungeon of Joan of Arc. More interesting is the chapter on the history of artifacts and souvenirs in American culture.
May 27, 2014 Marathon County Public Library MCPL rated it 5 of 5 stars
This appealing look at American history spotlights over 50 memorabilia from history, detailing each item's history and how they came to find a home at the Smithsonian. Included are such fascinating items as a piece of the original Plymouth Rock, a Washington Monument cornerstone, the table/chairs used by Grant and Lee at Appomattox, a framed lock of Andrew Jackson's hair and a JFK tie-clip. Bird's book is an educational - and fun - survey of small parts of American history.
Mike O. / Marathon Co
After an introduction (c.40pp) that gives a capsule history of the Smithsonian and of collecting historical relics as souvenirs, presents 50+ objects from the museum's collections in facing-page descriptions and photographs. What I particularly liked about the volume is that the tone replicates the uncomfortable attitude of historians and professional scholars towards such relics, while also giving them fair coverage and due respect. Those with casual interest will still find the photos and desc...more
Sep 22, 2013 Stephen rated it 4 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful short read on the subject of the souvenir and relic in American culture. Though this notion is a European one, America- because it's history was unfolding when the notion was at it's height, has a distinct relationship with it. This book provides great photos of both little known and highlighted artifacts in the Smithsonian Institute's collection. Each photo is accompanied by a blurb about the significance of the object, speculation upon it's authenticity and a bit about prov...more