Past Events

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.


"From Billions to None" Film Showing & Lecture

Monday, September 22, 2014 - 6:00pm


From Billions to None Film Showing & Lecture with producers Joel Greenberg and David Mrazek.


Book Signing and Reading with Susan Stockdale

Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 1:00pm

Bring on the Birds: a book signing and reading with Susan Stockdale, children’s author and illustrator


Echoes of Their Wings: The Passenger Pigeon and its Legacy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 6:00pm


Please RSVP to  or call 202-633-2241

Numbering in the billions, the passenger pigeon was the most abundant bird in North America if not the world. As late as 1860, a single flight near Toronto likely exceeded a billion birds and maybe three billion. Yet because of unrelenting human exploitation for food and recreation, the last of the wild birds were killed around 1900 and the last of the species died in a Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. The story of this bird is unique in human history and the lessons that it offers are critically important 100 years later.


Is a Rational Discussion of Open Access Possible?

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 12:00pm

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.