Press Releases


Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries will host a two­day symposium titled “The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion in the 17th – 19th Centuries” March 4 and 5 in the National Museum of American History. This celebration marks the reopening of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, one of the Libraries’ two facilities for rare books and manuscripts.

Monday, November 9, 2009
The Smithsonian Institution will launch an online scholarly work, beginning Thursday, Nov. 16, “By Aeroplane to Pygmyland: Revisiting the 1926 Dutch and American Expedition to New Guinea,” by Paul Michael Taylor, director of the Asian Cultural History Program and curator in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. It is the inaugural work of the “Smithsonian Libraries Digital Editions: Sources and Critical Interpretations,” a new series of Web-based critical editions with scholarly interpretations (

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries opens its new exhibition “Darwin’s Legacy” in the National Museum of Natural History Sept. 10. The exhibition features the first edition of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” (1859), a revolutionary book that changed the course of modern science. November 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication. This exhibition will be on display through Sept. 12, 2010.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Photographer Jonathan Singer and botanists John Kress and Marc Hachadourian recently presented SIL Director, Nancy Gwinn, with set number one of Botanica Magnifica, a five-volume, double- elephant folio-sized work of two hundred fifty photographic images of plants. Comparable in scale and scope to Audubon’s Birds of America, the book presents scientifically identified species grouped in themes of horticulture, plant form, orchids (Hachadourian’s specialty), gingers (Kress’s specialty), and rare species.

Friday, April 3, 2009
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is pleased to announce that Mary Augusta Thomas is the new Deputy Director for the Libraries. Thomas has served as Associate Director for Reader Services and Strategic Planning at the Libraries’ since 2002. Her new responsibilities include directing the operation of the Libraries’ 20 branches in each of the museum and research institutes, working with Smithsonian staff on library­planning issues to support the mission of the Smithsonian and directing the administrative services department for the Libraries.