Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect
The Smithsonian Libraries has long benefited from the generosity of book collectors who have helped build our world-class museum library system. Our exhibition, Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect, tells the captivating stories of the book collectors whose diverse interests and passions helped shape—and continue to contribute to—the Smithsonian Libraries. Through rare books, manuscripts and other intriguing items from across the varied libraries of the Smithsonian, the exhibition highlights the personal motivations and enduring impact of book collectors who were compelled to collect, preserve, and share their “magnificent obsessions” with the nation.
With this accompanying collection of fully digitized books, we invite you to explore in depth some of the very treasures these collectors were inspired to make their own, then share with the world.