Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library, located in Edgewater, MD, is one of 21 branch libraries in the Smithsonian Libraries system. It was founded in 1977 at the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies (CBCES) to support the Center's research and education programs. The CBCES was renamed the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in 1986 upon the closing of the Smithsonian Radiation Biology Laboratory (SRBL) in Rockville, MD and the partial merging of staff and collections.

The SERC Library collections provide support for Smithsonian scientists studying ecological systems and processes and SERC's education staff and programs.

The library primarily serves the staff of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; the resident Chesapeake Research Consortium (CRC); other Smithsonian staff, fellows, research associates; other government agencies, professional associations, students, scholars, and the general public.


The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Branch Library houses a collection of materials which support the scientific and educational research in the following broad areas:

  • Global change
  • Estuarine land-water interactions
  • Coastal ecosystems
  • Landscape ecology
  • Population and community ecology
  • Statistical analysis and modeling

The SERC Library also houses the Chesapeakiana collection.  This collection is devoted to publications about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  It is particularly rich with grey literature (government and non-profit reports and documents).