Adopt-a-Book Salon: Your Smithsonian: Past, Present, and Future

This year, we are once again bringing our annual Adopt-a-Book Evening online via two intimate salons in April. At each program,you’ll have the opportunity to interact with our librarians, archivists, and conservators, with different aspects of our collection highlighted on both nights. You’re invited to join us for both events events to see books and materials eight of our library locations and the Smithsonian Institution Archives!

Tuesday, April 26 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: Your Smithsonian: Past, Present, and Future
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Showcasing items celebrating the Smithsonian, past, present, and future.
Featuring items from the the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library; National Museum of Air and Space Library; the National Postal Museum Library; the Smithsonian Institution Archives; and the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex.

$35 per person, per event. Purchase tickets here.
We’re offering a discount if you attend both salons: $60 for both (save $10). See below for more information.

If you are unable to attend, please consider adopting a book online or making a donation.

We are committed to providing access services so all participants can fully engage in these events. Optional real-time captioning will be provided. If you need other access services, please email Advanced notice is appreciated.

Other Salon

Wednesday, April 20 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: The Lived Experience
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Focusing on stories of life in its myriad forms from across the Libraries and Archives.

Featuring items from the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library; the Anacostia Community Museum Library; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library; the Smithsonian Institution Archives; and the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex.


How will the salons work?
The events will be held on Zoom, and each one will feature roughly 20 books presented by six of our librarians, archivists, and/or conservators. After you buy your ticket, you’ll get the link to join. Right before 5:30 pm ET on the day of the event, you’ll click on that link to join the Zoom. After some welcoming remarks (by some surprise guests!), you’ll be placed in your first smaller “room.” You’ll be rotated through three “rooms” and then will be brought back with everyone to wrap up the evening by 6:45 pm ET. While it would be great to see you during the event, you certainly don’t need to have your camera on if you don’t want to! However, we do recommend that you join by computer, tablet, or iPad so that you can see the presentations.

Can I attend both events?
Definitely—and you’ll get a discount on tickets! See above for more info.

Do I have to adopt in order to attend?
No! While we hope that you’ll find something you’re interested in or that would be perfect to honor a loved one, this is also your chance to speak with and learn from our expert staff and get a peek into our incredible collections.

How do I adopt during the event?
This year, you’ll be able to bid on your favorite items during and after the events. After you buy your tickets, you’ll receive the link to the online auction before the event, and you’ll have the chance to browse. Once the auction opens, you’ll be able to place your bid. You will have to set up an account and provide your credit card information to ensure that your bid is legitimate. This will also allow you to be notified if you are outbid. However, you will not be charged. If you have the winning bid, a member of our team will follow up with you to process your donation or provide our address for you to send a check.

I’m new to this whole Adopt-a-Book thing! Tell me more.
The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Adopt-a-Book Program provides essential funding to support the conservation, acquisition, and digitization of books, manuscripts, and other materials held by the world’s largest museum complex and research institution. Generous private giving allows the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives to grow its collection, preserve items for future generations, and make materials available to curious minds for exploration and new discoveries. Adopt-a-Book donations are tax-deductible.

Does an adoption to build and access the collections buy this book for the Libraries and Archives?
No, these adoptions do not directly fund the book being adopted, as that book is already in our collection. The donation goes towards purchasing similar books to help grow our collection in that area. By adopting, you are able to directly increase the research capabilities of scholars, historians, curators, and scientists, from the Smithsonian and around the world.

Why are you asking this price for this book? It’s definitely not worth that!
You are getting your name on a piece of the Smithsonian, and that’s priceless! Donors receive recognition for all adoptions on a bookplate, both in the book and online. For preservation adoptions, prices are estimates of the cost of repairs for each book. Researchers use these resources every day to further knowledge in innumerable subject areas. Your generous gift allows us to preserve, grow, and make accessible our collections to better serve their needs and has a direct impact on the knowledge generated at the Smithsonian every day and for future generations.

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