Get a Library Account

Anyone with an active Smithsonian network account may apply for a library account. 

Outside researchers and public visitors cannot obtain a Smithsonian library account, but they can request Smithsonian Libraries collection materials via interlibrary loan from their local library. They can also visit our libraries by appointment (NB: all branches are currently closed). 

There are two types of access and borrowing privileges for SI Community members with an active Smithsonian network account: 

Full Privileges

This is a standard library account for SI Community members who have an active Smithsonian identification badge. It includes the ability to borrow books and other materials and create an ILLiad account for interlibrary loan privileges. To request an account:


Anyone with an appointed position within the Smithsonian and an active Smithsonian network account is eligible for a PDF-Only library account and an associated interlibrary loan account. PDF-Only library account holders cannot borrow print materials, but can use ILLiad to request electronic copies (PDFs) of articles and book chapters via interlibrary loan. To request a PDF-Only account: 

  • Complete the Library Account Form and check the “PDF-Only" option in the upper right corner of the form.
  • Send your completed form to from your active SI-email account.
  • Important note for permanent SI staff without an SI badge or non-permanent SI Community members:
    • Complete the bottom part of the form with your supervisor’s information and have your supervisor email us for verification of your employment status.
    • We need to receive two emails from SI email accounts, one from you and one from your supervisor.
  • PDF-Only accounts can be updated to a Full Privileges account anytime once an SI Badge is provided. 

More information on library services for the Smithsonian Community can be found on the Libraries’ Access Options for the Smithsonian Community page.

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