Introduction to Research at the Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries supports research activities across the Smithsonian through a network of 21 specialized libraries. Library collections include thousands of databases, electronic and print periodicals, and over two million volumes covering the diverse range of subjects reflected in the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers. The Libraries and its skilled staff help their communities of interest by collecting, preserving and sharing important scholarly materials, by directing users to the most relevant electronic and print research sources, and by assisting them with research strategies. 

Library Services for Smithsonian Staff

  • Visit : The Smithsonian Libraries welcomes institution staff and other visitors at all its branches. Some of the branches are located in restricted areas, so please contact the branch staff to arrange a visit:
  • Borrow : Smithsonian employees and other affiliated persons with a valid Smithsonian identification badge and email address can open a borrower account with the Libraries. Complete the Borrower Registration Form at and send it to a library staff member or
  • Interlibrary Loan : A Smithsonian Libraries borrower may open an ILLiad account and borrow from branch locations within the Libraries as well as from our partner libraries worldwide. Create an ILLiad account at
  • Training : Smithsonian staff can request custom orientations and trainings for groups and individuals about any of the Libraries’ online or print research tools, research methods and strategies, and more. Contact your branch librarian or for more information.
  • Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) : A searchable online repository for research output from across the Institution. Many online publications are collected automatically, but Smithsonian researchers can also individually submit their publications for inclusion.
  • Ask a Librarian : For research assistance or any questions about the Libraries, please email


  • All - Use the OneSearch box on the Research Tools  page to access our extensive collection of journals (electronic and print), articles, books, and other items.
  • Catalog – Select the Catalog tab to search only the Smithsonian Libraries catalog, or go directly to
  • e-Journal – Select the e-Journal tab to search for electronic access to journal titles.

A-Z List of e-Journals & Databases:

  • Search or browse for thousands of e-journals by title.
  • Browse to a specific database, such as JSTOR, Project Muse, Web of Science, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Ancestry Library Edition, or many others.

Library Catalog:

Chart of SIL eBook Options (June 2018)407.88 KB