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.
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.
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.
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.
Julianne K. Bailey created The Bailey Family Endowment in 2005 to support the Libraries at the discretion of the Director.
The Brian J. and Darlene Heidtke Endowment was instituted in 2002 to support our Book Conservation Laboratory and Preservation Services Department.
The Bruce Collette Fishes Endowment was established in 2004 to benefit fishes research at the National Museum of Natural History Library.
Michael and his wife Diane initiated an unrestricted endowment in 2002 to provide a stable future for the Libraries.
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.
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.
The Frank J. and Betty M. Quirk Endowment began in 2000 to support the technological needs of the Libraries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Endowment for the Preservation of Natural History Rare Books was created by Mr. Cullman in 1998.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This general purpose endowment was launched in 1997 with income from sales and licensing of products made using illustrations from the Libraries colorful collections.
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 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.
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 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.