Smithsonian Libraries Campaign Priorities

Acquisitions and Preservation

To meet the demands of cutting-edge research, the Libraries purchases books, journals and databases containing the latest scholarship. In addition to purchasing new works, the Libraries preserves a treasure trove of historic books and manuscripts, from letters by Galileo to 18th-century illustrations of North American plants. Investments in endowments to support acquisitions and conservation ensure the Libraries can provide current resources, as well as preserve cherished written works.

Broadening Access Through Digitization & Education

The Smithsonian’s digital library and online catalog are available anywhere at any time. Scholars, historians, scientists, educators and students from around the world consult these digital resources and the Libraries’ expert staff to prepare exhibitions, products and publications. The Libraries has digitized centuries of scientific texts to create the Biodiversity Heritage Library. This online collection is so successful, the Libraries seeks funds to build a Cultural Heritage Library, digitizing volumes from history, art and cultural heritage. An investment in digitizing this collection ensures that the Libraries stays as accessible and relevant tomorrow as it is today.


Many books are beautiful works of art, some hidden deep in the collection. Rotating exhibitions are displayed in the Smithsonian’s museums and online. Gifts to support exhibitions allow the Smithsonian Libraries to build public awareness for its vast holdings and provide education opportunities for students.

Fellowships & Internships

From graduate students just beginning their careers to established scholars writing their next books, the Smithsonian Libraries selects fellows to come to the Smithsonian Libraries and work with our staff and special collections. An investment in fellowships ensures scholars will use the Libraries’ collections to share new knowledge with their institutions and publish works, which offer insight into our past.

How your gift counts

Support at any level will help the Libraries’ move forward with our Campaign goals. Below are some examples of how we can put your gift to use:

  • $100 can scan 1,000 pages to be made available for free and open access
  • $500 can digitize a series of 19th century books to make them accessible to people everywhere
  • $750 can fund conservation treatments to preserve our most valuable treasures
  • $1,000 can acquire historic and iconic books that make the Smithsonian Libraries collections so special
  • $5,000 can help develop new tools for biodiversity research
  • $25,000 can create a fund to purchase artists’ books for our art libraries
  • $100,000 can sponsor the design, fabrication, and outreach programs for one of the Libraries exhibitions
  • $250,000 can fund a permanent named, endowed graduate fellowship so that scholars from around the world have the opportunity to use the Libraries collections in person
  • $1 million can name our Natural History Library’s Reading Room and provide much-needed funds to purchase resources for scientists and researchers

Interested in learning more about the Libraries’ campaign priorities and how you can help? Contact our Advancement Office today.

Allie Swislocki
Advancement Officer