At Home with the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives: Magnificent Obsessions

Tuesday, October 5 at 5 pm ET
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Without obsessed collectors gathering their favorites over the years, much of our cultural heritage would be lost. Often it’s the small details of a child’s worn book, a treasured cookbook, or a guide to the World’s Fair that contemporary scholars use to understand the full picture of history.

Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect, currently on view in the National Museum of American History, tells the captivating stories of the book collectors whose diverse interests and passions helped shape—and continue to contribute to—the libraries of the Smithsonian. Through rare books, manuscripts, and other intriguing items from across the varied libraries, the exhibition highlights the personal motivations and enduring impact of book collectors who were compelled to share their “magnificent obsessions” with the nation.

Join curators Mary Augusta Thomas and Stephen Van Dyk as they share the stories of some of these fascinating collectors and incredible objects, as well as behind-the-scenes insights into the process of developing Magnificent Obsessions.

Registration is optional--you do not need to register to participate. However, by registering you help us learn about who is attending our programs, so we can better serve our audiences. You'll also get an opportunity to opt in to receive emails from us, including invitations to future programs. Register here.

How to Join the Live Event
You can watch this event on Facebook. To access the event, please be sure you are following Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. We recommend having our page open when it starts.

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.

This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.

In Memory of Anthony John Mourek, a Magnificent Collector

Library and archive collections have been a part of the Smithsonian since its beginnings. This program, which will highlight the history of several important collections, is part of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Institution’s founding.