Past Events

The Curious Mister Catesby

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 5:30pm

The Smithsonian Libraries presents The Curious Mister Catesby event, a panel lecture and book signing on April 14. The Catesby Trust’s new book, The Curious Mr. Catesby: A “Truly Ingenious” Naturalist Explores New Worlds is available now. The event is free and open to the public


Questions for an Open Cultural Institution: Thinking Together in Provocative Places

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 11:00am

Join us for a discussion with Dr. David Carr about the potential of, and challenges facing, a cultural institution in the modern age. Carr speaks, writes, and teaches about the value of cultural institutions as essential instruments for nourishing public imaginations in democratic societies.


21st Annual Dibner Library Lecture

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 5:00pm

Please join us for the 21st annual Dibner Library Lecture, Alchemy on the Cutting Edge on Thursday, December 11th at 5:00 p.m. in the Warner Bros. Theater. Event is free and open to the public


"The Lost Bird Project"

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 6:00pm

Gone and nearly forgotten, the Labrador Duck, Great Auk, Heath Hen, Carolina Parakeet and Passenger Pigeon have left a hole in the American landscape and in our collective memory.  Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to bring their vanished forms back into the world by permanently placing his elegant, evocative bronze memorials at the location of each bird’s demise. 


Lecture and Book Signing by Christopher Cokinos

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 6:00pm

Christopher Cokinos, the author of Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds (Tarcher/Penguin), the classic natural history of six extinct North American birds, will share some remarkable stories about the passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet, the great auk, the Labrador duck, the ivory-billed woodpecker and the heath hen.  There's the tale of the biology professor (and part-time milk man) who tries to save the heath hens on Martha's Vineyard...the graduate student who returns south in the 1940s to write the first book on the ivory-bill as its forest was being logged in order to make tea-crates for the British Army...the story of the boy who shot in 1900 what is still officially considered the last wild passenger pigeon.  These stories tie us to the past and the future, the land and the sky--and raise profound questions about the role of environmental memory.