Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

The Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SLRA) holds over 35,000 monographs, over 250,000 periodical holdings, and is the most subject-diverse branch within the Smithsonian Libraries' system.

  • History and culture & Applied science and technology. SLRA's collection of late 19th and early-mid 20thCentury trade journals is a scarce legacy collection handed down in large part from now-defunct U.S. government libraries such as U.S. Patent Office Library. The journals document the material culture of the Industrial eras in the United States and Great Britain and delve into the literal machinations of Victorian and turn-of-the century middle class life. Quotidian everyday life like housewares, fashion, ice cream, and bicycles, as well major developments in industry like the locomotive, electricity, and the mechanical printing press are represented.
  • 20th century modern and contemporary art, featuring scarce artists' exhibition catalogs
  • Natural and physical sciences, including zoological veterinary science 
  • Museum studies
  • Smithsonian legacy publications, including the Bulletin of the National Museum, and Annual Reports for both the Institution and the National Museum.

Unique and specialized collections include: 

  • Culinary Historians of Washington (CHoW) Collection - This collection of more than 700 culinary monographs published from the turn of the 20thcentury until now, compliments the ongoing study of culinary and foodstuffs history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Continually growing through a collaboration with CHoW, this collection holds wide appeal to culinary historians and scholars, as well as cooking novices and experts. The CHOW Collection contains regional, international, and practical cookbooks; and food narratives, culinary histories, and books on cooking instruction.
  • Early 20th century aeronatical fiction, many with emblematic decorated publishers' cloth bindings
  • Auction catalogs, largely Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses in New York and London, up to 2005.
  • Aerospace Legacy Materials Collection
  • The Robert P. Anderson Collection of Easter Island archival materials

Please contact Daria Wingreen-Mason with inquiry about the collection or to make an appointment. SLRA has a reading room that is laptop friendly. Cameras welcome without flash. Microform reader available. A Dropbox account is recommended for large scanning requests. Copyright laws apply.  

Finding SLRA on Google Maps.