Vanessa Haight Smith

Head, Preservation Services

Vanessa Haight Smith has held the position as Head of the Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Services since 2010.  She oversees the conservation and preservation of over 20 collections spread throughout the Institution.  In addition, Vanessa treats special collections and prepares materials for exhibitions within the Libraries and serves as registrar for those items loaned to and from outside institutions.

Vanessa started her conservation career as an assistant paintings conservator thirty years ago. She was later hired by the Conservation Department of Princeton University Library where she prepared over one hundred exhibitions for the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Since 2011, Vanessa has served as adjunct professor for the Preservation Course at the Catholic University MSLIS program in Washington, D.C.  In addition, Vanessa has completed graduate work in painting and drawing and continues to work on various painting commissions.


B.A. in Art, Washington College, Chestertown, MD

Postgraduate Diploma, Conservation of Books and Library Materials, West Dean College, Chichester, UK

M.A. in Conservation, West Dean College, Chichester, UK