Programs & Events

Is a Rational Discussion of Open Access Possible?

Rick Anderson

We are pleased to welcome Rick Anderson for a talk on Open Access on Monday, March 10, in the Ripley Center, Quad, Lecture Hall (12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.). Please join us for this exciting discussion! This is the second lecture in The Open Access Future series sponsored by the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and the Smithsonian's Office of the Chief Information Officer.

Adopt-a-Book Evening

Guests peruse a selection of adoptable books

Enjoy a unique and lively evening to benefit the Smithsonian Libraries' rare book and preservation programs. The event will feature German food, wine and beer, and entertainment. Guests will have the opportunity to browse a trove of remarkable and historic volumes and are invited to learn more about the Libraries' special collections and why they must be preserved.

Whale Research at the Smithsonian Past, Present and Future

The Smithsonian has studied whales since the 1850s, building collections that are unmatched in the world and yielding insights into these enigmatic species. Listen to four distinguished speakers: Prof. R. Ewan Fordyce, Prof. D. Graham Burnett, Dr. Stephen Godfrey, and Dr. Nicholas D. Pyenson discuss the origins of this legacy, its scientific value, and its future.

Preservation Matters! with Steve Berry

Author Steve Berry

From superstorms to blizzards to tornados to wildfires, America has frequently shuddered under the onslaught of natural disasters. “Why Preserving History Matters” against the threat of catastrophe will be the focus of the keynote lecture by New York Times and internationally bestselling author Steve Berry, who returns April 24, 2013 as national spokesperson for the American Library Association’s Second Annual National Preservation Week.

Salon Scientifique!

Salon Scientifique Invitation

Guests will have the chance to visit exhibits throughout the Corcoran’s Atrium that will showcase collections and demonstrations from Franklin’s inventions to ballooning. Hostesses will be on hand to discuss the history of salons and proper etiquette as guests experience a recreated French salon first-hand.

Capturing the Story in History

Steve Berry

On October 18, international and New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry and the Smithsonian Libraries will join forces to present a writers’ workshop, Lessons from a Bestseller, to raise funds for the Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation programs at the Smithsonian Libraries to help preserve America’s treasures.

Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis

The Smithsonian Libraries welcomes Daniel Lewis, author of The Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds, for a talk and book signing on Thursday, May 17, at 12:00 noon in the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium.

George Dyson to Speak at Smithsonian Libraries

George Dyson

The Smithsonian Libraries will host George Dyson for a lecture on Wednesday, March 14, at 5:00 p.m. in the National Museum of Natural History's Baird Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

George Dyson is a science historian as well as a boat designer and builder. He is also the author of "Baidarka," "Project Orion" and "Darwin Among the Machines." He lives in Washington State. At the Smithsonian Libraries event, Dyson will speak on his new book "Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe."

Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn

On June 14, the Smithsonian Libraries hosted a reception celebrating the opening of “Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn,” our ongoing exhibition in the Libraries’ gallery located in the National Museum of American History. This exhibition features the art of paper engineering in the production of books with moving parts, such as peep shows (pictures viewed through a small hole), volvelles (wheel charts), accordion books and pop-up books, published from the 15th century to modern times.

Book Illustration and Visual Culture

To celebrate the Smithsonian Libraries exhibition Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustration, SIL hosted “Book Illustration and Visual Culture,” a lecture and reception on June 24, 2009 in the National Museum of American History. Helena Wright, curator for graphic arts in the Museum of American History and guest curator of the exhibition, was the speaker for the event. Wright addressed the Libraries’ strengths in all Smithsonian disciplines - science, history, and art - in terms of the power illustrations have to communicate as Inspiration, Information, and Influence.

Tea with Audubon

On June 10, 2009, around 70 guests gathered for “Afternoon Tea with Audubon,” an event celebrating the gift of a double-elephant folio facsimile of John J. Audubon’s Birds of America to the Libraries. This impressive and valuable work, published by Robert E. Abrams of Abbeville Press and donated by Jonathan Singer, resides in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History in the National Museum of Natural History. 

The Age of Wonder and the Era of Experiments

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries hosted a two-day symposium titled “The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion in the 17th-19th Centuries” March 4 and 5 in the National Museum of American History. This celebration marked the reopening of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, one of the Libraries’ two facilities for rare books and manuscripts, the Dibner Library lectures and the Resident Scholar program.

Dibner Library Reopening

February 10, 2009 marked the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology reopening celebration. This rare books library was closed for over two years as part of the National Museum of American History renovation.  Close to 100 Smithsonian staff from around the Institution stopped by to join in the festivities and meet the Libraries new Head of Special Collections, Lilla Vekerdy.

Paint the Town REaD! 40th Anniversary Ruby Gala

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries sealed the 40thanniversary celebratory year by hosting a black-tie “Paint the Town REaD!” Ruby Gala at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture on October 30, 2008.  The event took place in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, situated between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. It was attended by 250 SIL staff, guests and friends.  Secretary G.

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