National Museum of African American History & Culture Library

The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) is under construction and is slated to open in 2016.  The NMAAHC Library will be on the second floor of the new museum and will be the Smithsonian Libraries’ first library located in a museum’s public space, therefore making it easily accessible to researchers and museum visitors.  In the meantime, library staff is building a strong collection to reflect the mission of the museum and to support the research and documentation of all aspects of the African American experience.


Library Catalog & SIRIS

Tools for the Researcher

Library Locations

Library FAQs (for museum staff)

How do I get a library card?

How do I request books from SL collections?

  • After selecting a title in the library catalog, you will see a “Request Copy” link in the bottom right of the record.  You will need to login with your library card barcode, and remember to choose your desired pickup location for the request.

What if I want items that I cannot find in a SL collection?

  • If you cannot find a title in the library catalog, then you will need to complete the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan form.  You will need to create an account in ILLiad if you are using it for the first time.

How do I receive books I have requested?

  • The library that you chose for your pickup location will contact you once your items are ready to be picked up.

Where can I return items borrowed from the library? 

  • You can return your books to any SL location.  Please be sure to promptly return interlibrary loans sent from non-Smithsonian Libraries.

What should I do about an overdue notice? 

  • You can ask for a renewal of the overdue items or return them to any SL location.  You can also renew some items through the My Account feature in the library catalog.  

How do I access the databases and electronic journals? 

For additional questions, please contact Shauna Collier at