Endowments

Today, with more than two million volumes including 50,000 rare books and manuscripts, the Smithsonian Libraries provides research and information resources to the world's largest museum complex. Endowments enhance the Libraries’ ability to fund acquisitions, conservation, technology, exhibitions, fellowships, internships, and staff development.

By allowing the Libraries to be less dependent on government funds, named endowments ensure that promising programs, individuals, and initiatives have the ongoing support they need. Through investments in places, people, programs, and treasures, we will tell America’s story, spark discovery, inspire lifelong learning, and use technologies to reach people everywhere.

Endowments allow us to invest in print collections to preserve our collective past. So much of what the Libraries offers cannot be found elsewhere and named endowments ensure a steady and growing stream of income to acquire and preserve treasures. With an outright gift or pledge of $50,000 or more, you can establish a named endowment to provide funding for the Libraries in perpetuity.

Our endowment donors are recognized on the Smithsonian Libraries donor panel in the National Museum of Natural History, on the Libraries website, and in the Annual Report, newsletters and other donor publications.  For more information on creating an endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries contact the Advancement Office at (202) 633-2241.

Blankaart, Steven. Schou-burg der rupsen, wormen, ma’den… Amsterdam, 1688.   Engraved title page.

The Alice Kennington Rare Book Fund

The Alice Eve Kennington Rare Book Endowment was established in 2000 by Dr. Ellinor Michel to honor her mother, Alice Kennington. The endowment funds the acquisition and preservation of Natural History rare books.

"Peacocks” by Albert W. Heckman from the November 1919 issue of Keramic Studio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library.

The Arts Libraries Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries

The Arts Libraries endowment was launched in 2009 with the proceeds of the Libraries' 40th Anniversary Ruby Gala. It supports the five art libraries located in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Freer and Sackler Galleries.

Image of Deanne and Gus Miller

The Augustus and Deanne Miller Acquisitions Fund

Longstanding friends and supporters of the Smithsonian institution Augustus “Gus” Miller and his wife, Deanne Miller, established the Augustus and Deanne Miller Acquisitions Fund for the American Experience in 2011.

Researchers in the library with books and manuscripts

The Bailey Family Endowment

Julianne K. Bailey created The Bailey Family Endowment in 2005 to support the Libraries at the discretion of the Director.

Book conservationist restoring a book in a washing tray

The Brian J. and Darlene Heidtke Preservation Endowment

The Brian J. and Darlene Heidtke Endowment was instituted in 2002 to support our Book Conservation Laboratory and Preservation Services Department.

Philip Henry Gosse The aquarium: an unveiling of the wonders of the deep sea , 1856 “The Ancient Wrasse”

The Bruce Collette Fishes Acquisitions Endowment

The Bruce Collette Fishes Endowment was established in 2004 to benefit fishes research at the National Museum of Natural History Library.

Woman browsing and reading newspaper stacks

The C. Michael Gooden and Diane Oksanen-Gooden Endowment

Michael and his wife Diane initiated an unrestricted endowment in 2002 to provide a stable future for the Libraries.

Image of the North Reading Room with a large table in the middle surrounded by built-in shelves of books and an ornate ceiling

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library Endowment

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Library Endowment was created in 2006 with the proceeds of a Libraries’ fundraising event. The event featured a preview of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America’s Connoisseur’s Fair at the Gramercy Armory in New York City.

Rare books in the Dibner Library

The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology Endowment

The Dibner family has been generously supporting the operations and projects in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology for many years. Dr. Bern Dibner gave the rare book and manuscript collection to the Smithsonian Libraries in 1974 and the Library opened in 1976.

Imaging technician at an imaging center station

The Frank J. and Betty M. Quirk Endowment

The Frank J. and Betty M. Quirk Endowment began in 2000 to support the technological needs of the Libraries.

Image of Corals from "Actinologia britannica. A history of the British sea-anemones and corals London,Van Voorst,1860."

The Frederick Bayer Endowment for Natural History Acquisitions

In 2005 Dr. Frederick “Ted” Bayer created the Frederick M. Bayer Endowment for Natural History Acquisitions. Ted Bayer was a Smithsonian curator who published over 130 papers and books on the taxonomy and natural history of soft corals.

Gwen Leighty

The Gwendolen Rochester Leighty Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries

Through funds generously donated from her friends and family, The Gwendolen Rochester Leighty Endowment was established in 2007 and funds Smithsonian Libraries acquisitions including books, journals, and electronic databases, and also supports staff development.

Hope and John Furth

The John L. and Hope L. Furth Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries

The John L. and Hope L. Furth Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries began as an unrestricted fund in 2005 to further the Libraries’ mission. The Endowment has helped to engage the public and research communities to foster diverse learning experiences and has offered opportunities to increase and diffuse knowledge.

Imagd of Joseph F. Cullman 3rd and Leslie K. Overstreet

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Endowment for the Natural History Rare Book Library

Joe Cullman established the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library endowment in 2001 to underwrite the operations and programs of the rare book library in the National Museum of Natural History. The Library was named in his honor.

Image of Joseph F. Cullman 3rd

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Endowment for the Preservation of Natural History Rare Books

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Endowment for the Preservation of Natural History Rare Books was created by Mr. Cullman in 1998.

Linda Gooden

The Linda R. Gooden Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries

Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board Member Linda R. Gooden launched her endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries in 2012. This endowment supports the Libraries efforts in acquisitions, education, digitization, and other programs in aviation, aeronautics, and space exploration.

Rare book librarian shelving large books

The Lloyd and Charlotte Wineland Library Endowment for Native American and Western Exploration Literature

In 1997, Nancy Wineland Castle established the Lloyd and Charlotte Wineland Endowment, in honor of her parents, to support the acquisition of Native American and western exploration library materials.

Plate from "Guirlande , 1920" showing a drawing of a woman in a fancy dress.

The Margery and Edgar Masinter Fund for the Acquisition and Preservation of Illustrated Books

The Masinters made a commitment in 2002 to form the Margery F. and Edgar M. Masinter Endowment for Illustrated Books, a fund that enables the Libraries to acquire and preserve illustrated works in all subject areas of the Libraries’ holdings.

Librarian in stacks

The Margery F. Masinter Endowment for the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Library

Originated in 2003, this endowment has been used to supplement general acquisition funds for the purchase of design and decorative books for the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design library.

Nancy Gwinn with 2013 Summer Interns

The Nancy E. Gwinn and John Y. Cole Endowment

Nancy E. Gwinn, current director of the Smithsonian Libraries, and her husband, John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, created this named endowment in 2003. The Nancy E. Gwinn and John Y. Cole Endowment supports interns undertaking various projects among the many departments at the Smithsonian Libraries.

Image of Presidential historian Michael Beschloss speaking at the Libraries’ Price of Freedom Event

The National Museum of American History Library Endowment

The National Museum of American History Library Endowment was the result of the Libraries’ Price of Freedom Event in 2005. More than 300 guests attended the event in the museum, where noted presidential historian Michael Beschloss was the keynote speaker.
Image of a native american mother and child, from "History of the Indian tribes of North America, Volumes 1-3 , 1836-1844"

The National Museum of the American Indian Library Endowment

The National Museum of the American Indian Endowment began in 2006 with the proceeds of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Spencer Baird Society Benefactor’s Dinner.
Image of the cover of the book "Treasures of Ancient Nigeria"

The Rollyn Osterweis Krichbaum Memorial Program Fund for the Public Understanding of African Art and Culture

In 2012 Ruth Selig, a longtime staff member at the Smithsonian, committed to a permanent endowment in memory of her identical twin sister, dedicated to educational and scholarly programming, scholars’ residencies, and exhibitions organized by the Warren M. Robbins Library in the National Museum of African Art.

Researchers in the library with books and manuscripts

The Ronald J. and Deborah A. Monark Endowment

In 2011, former Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board Chair Ron Monark founded the Ronald J. and Deborah A. Monark Endowment Fund. These funds are discretionary funds and support the Libraries in serving the information needs of the Smithsonian and beyond.

iPad and Rare book being used together

The S. Dillon Ripley Library Endowment

In 1993, the Smithsonian Libraries instituted the S. Dillon Ripley Library Endowment to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of the Smithsonian’s greatest leaders.

The Smithsonian Libraries Endowment for Serials Acquisition and Preservation

Dr. F. Christian Thompson, past Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board member and a research entomologist for the United States Department of Agriculture, established the Smithsonian Libraries Endowment for Serials and Acquisitions in 2000.

The Smithsonian Libraries General Endowment

This general purpose endowment was launched in 1997 with income from sales and licensing of products made using illustrations from the Libraries colorful collections.

Image of a red panda from the book "Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London"

The Smithsonian Libraries’ Endowment for Wildlife Conservation

The Smithsonian Libraries’ Endowment for Wildlife Conservation was formed in 2007 from the proceeds of a fundraising dinner at the National Zoological Park (NZP). The dinner, which was called “An Escape to the Wild Side”, was hosted by Animal Planet television host, Jeff Corwin.

The Special Collections Endowment

The Libraries created its first endowment in 1992 with the proceeds of a sale of duplicate rare books. Income from the Special Collections Endowment is used to purchase rare books.

Image of three people sitting at a table examining a large book.

The Warren M. Robbins Library Endowment, National Museum of African Art

The Warren M. Robbins Library Endowment was created in 2006 to promote the resources of the National Museum of African Art’s Library and increase access to the world’s premier resources in African art, history, and culture to scholars, teachers and students across the globe.

The Zug Family Amphibian and Reptile Endowment for the Smithsonian Libraries

The Zug Family Amphibian and Reptile Endowment was established in 2008 by Dr. George Zug, emeritus Research Zoologist with the National Museum of Natural History, Division of Amphibians and Reptiles. With this endowment, the Libraries’ annual subscriptions to periodicals devoted to biology, evolution, and systematics of amphibians and reptiles held generally in the Libraries' zoology branch with be expanded and supported for Smithsonian researchers and visitors.