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SIL Joins LibraryThing

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is pleased to announce its participation in Library Thing. This free online service was originally created to help people catalog their own books more easily and has become a great way to link readers to books, interests and each other.

Combining the best of a commercial bookseller’s website and a typical library catalog, Library Thing takes book browsing to another level. It’s a fun and useful tool to work alongside the SIRIS catalog, not replace it, and connects users to the people and books that have helped build SIL. Users can now explore the personal library of James Smithson or the “Heralds of Science” collection of Bern Dibner on Library Thing. Smithson and Dibner join the likes of Leonardo daVinci, Charles Darwin and Benjamin Franklin in the “Legacy Libraries” section which contains inventories of the book collections of notable figures.

Researchers can also utilize Library Thing by selecting records from SIRIS (one of 690 catalogs already integrated) to create personalized bibliographies or book lists. Users can make recommendations, create reviews or organize titles by creating their own tags. Because of the social aspect of Library Thing, patrons can connect with other users, find those with similar research interests and take a look at what their colleagues have collected.

James Smithson’s library on

Bern Dibner’s “Herald of Science” collection on


  1. Hey, any chance the feed can be changed to include the full posts and not just an excerpt? T’would be a most welcome adjustment, if possible.

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