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The tradition of scholarly publishing at the Smithsonian dates back to the Institution’s origin. In keeping with James Smithson’s stipulation that his bequest to the United States be “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian (1846–1878), initiated in 1848 the Institution’s first publication, Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. The tradition continues today with Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (SISP).

One of several offices operating within the Smithsonian’s Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support, SISP publishes research by Smithsonian scholars in many fields – particularly science, art and art history, aviation and space, and history and material culture – and research closely related to Smithsonian collections.

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Places of Invention

Edited by Arthur P. Molella and Anna Karvellas

The companion book to an upcoming museum exhibition of the same name, Places of Invention seeks to answer timely questions about the nature of invention and innovation: What is it about some places that sparks invention and innovation? Is it simply being at the right place at the right time, or is it more than that? How does “place”—whether physical, social, or cultural—support, constrain, and shape innovation? Why does invention flourish in one spot but struggle in another, even very similar location? In short: Why there? Why then?

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A Revision of the New World Species of Paralimna Loew (Diptera: Ephydridae)

By Rosaly Ale-Rocha and Wayne N. Mathis

Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, no. 643

New World species of genus Paralimna Loew are revised: Fifteen new species described; four new synonyms proposed. Key to 34 known New World species of subgenera Paralimna is provided, as is a key to three New World species of subgenus Phaiosterna Cresson. Diagnoses, detailed distributional data for species, notes on biology, and illustrations provided to assist species identification. Cladistic analysis performed to examine monophyly of known species groups of Paralimna.

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The First Smithsonian Collection: The European Engravings of George Perkins Marsh and the Role of Prints in the U.S. National Museum

Helena E. Wright

In 1849 the Smithsonian purchased the Marsh Collection of European engravings, the Institution's first acquired collection and the nation's first public print collection. Through the story of the Marsh Collection, the book explores the cultural values attributed to prints in the 19th century, including their role in expositions and their influence on visual culture. The history of this first Smithsonian collection enlivens the development of American cultural identity and the formation of the Smithsonian as a national institution.

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Catalog of Type Specimens of Recent Mammals: Orders Didelphimorphia through Chiroptera (excluding Rodentia) in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, no. 644

By Robert D. Fisher and Craig A. Ludwig

The third of an anticipated four publications to catalog the type specimens housed in the Division of Mammals of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This volume covers the orders Didelphimorphia (opossums) through Chiroptera (bats).

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