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. For more than two decades David Dibner (son of Bern Dibner) and his wife Frances sponsored the Dibner Library with regular gifts and donations. Frances Dibner established a larger fund for operations in 2008 and from 2009 family gifts arrived from foundations managed by David Dibner’s three sons, Brent, Mark, and Daniel.  These gifts have been recognized by the Board of Regents in the establishment of the Dibner Endowment.

Lilla Vekerdy shelving books
The initial gift of books and manuscripts that constitute the core of the present Dibner Library is the foundation of everything that has been happening in this collection since its inception. It is the basis of the scholarly research, the flourishing Resident Scholar Program, the annual Dibner Library Lecture, and the publications of the Dibner Library. However, to sustain all these products and activities we almost fully have depended on the continuous monetary support of the family. With this funding we are able to create the scholarly and public environment around the Library which contributes to its ranking among the firsts of history of science and technology collections worldwide.


As a librarian and a teacher, the research, educational and public functions of the Dibner Library are equally important in my eyes.  To continue the Resident Scholar Program, and to host classes and public lectures, as well as to give access to the rare materials through digitization to a worldwide audience is imperative, I think. The Dibner Endowment has been providing for all this for which we are extremely grateful and would like to rely on it in the future as well. – Lilla Vekerdy, Smithsonian Libraries Head of Special Collections, 2013