Adopt-a-Book Salon: From the Vaults

This year, we’ve taken our annual Adopt-a-Book Evening online and will be hosting a series of four intimate salons in March and April, where you’ll have the opportunity to interact with our librarians, archivists, and conservators. You’re invited to join us for all four events to see books and materials from all 21 of our library branches and the Archives!

Wednesday, April 28 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: From the Vaults
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Featuring special collections, preservation, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Books from Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives

$35 per person, per event. Purchase tickets here.
We’re offering a discount if you attend multiple events: $60 for two events (save $10), $85 for three events (save $20), and $115 for four events (save $25).

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 Events

Thursday, March 18 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: Global Perspectives
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Focusing on the global breadth of our collections
Books from Anacostia Community Museum Library, Botany and Horticulture Library, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library, Warren M. Robbins Library at the National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Asian Art Library, National Museum of Natural History Library, Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex, and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library

Thursday, April 1 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: Off the Mall
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Featuring an interdisciplinary selection of libraries located off the National Mall
Books from Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library, Museum Support Center Library, National Air and Space Museum Library, National Postal Museum Library, National Zoological Park Library, and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library

Tuesday, April 13 – Adopt-a-Book Salon: America the Beautiful
5:30 to 6:45 pm ET
Focusing on American art, history, and culture
Books from American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology, National Museum of African American History & Culture Library, National Museum of American History Library, Vine Deloria, Jr. Library at the National Museum of the American Indian, and 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 more than one event?
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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