Entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie once said that “a library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” The Smithsonian Libraries are passionate about renewing our commitment to serving the global community as a public and academic library system. We have enhanced our digital accessibility, public programs, and events while adding new fellowship opportunities, resulting in more in-person traffic than ever before. This increase in activity is made possible thanks to the continued support of our dedicated donors.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), a consortium of institutions working to digitize biodiversity literature and make it freely available online at www.biodiversitylibrary.org, is helping scientists identify and conserve life on Earth. Scientists have long considered that inadequate access to the published literature is one of the chief impediments to the efficiency of research in the field. By removing boundaries to access, BHL is strengthening scientific and conservation efforts on every continent. The BHL currently provides access to nearly 40 million pages and over 50,000 images, free and available to the public online.
It’s been a busy fall for the Smithsonian Libraries! In tandem with the National Book Festival, the Smithsonian Libraries hosted nine renowned authors at an intimate dinner on Saturday, September 22nd. The distinguished group included Geraldine Brooks, Charlaine Harris, Tony Horwitz, Katherine Neville, Christopher Paolini, Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella, Sally Bedell Smith, and R. L. Stine. Read on for our upcoming events!
On October 18, internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry and the Smithsonian Libraries will join forces to present a writers’ workshop, Lessons from a Bestseller, to teach general writing skills while benefitting the Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation Programs at the Smithsonian Libraries.
For close to half a century, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery Library has been the premier destination for study in American art and portraiture, serving patrons across the globe. The collection is now the largest library in the world dedicated to the study of American art and portraiture. In addition to rich files housing a range of materials, artists are searchable in an online database and books, images, and periodicals are being digitized and made freely available to users worldwide. The Library also serves as a home for twenty research fellows each year, fostering the foundations for the next generation of American art scholars.