Smithsonian Libraries: Unveiling a Gem

Date: 20 July 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UVA Special Collections
Lecturer: Nancy E. Gwinn - Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries shares with its parent a unique position in American culture as a “trust instrumentality” of the United States. Arguably the world’s largest museum library, the Libraries serves as a research library for Smithsonian scientists, historians, researchers and many others and engages the research community and the general public on a national and international scale. The lecture sets the stage with a brief history of how the Smithsonian and its 21 libraries originated and describes how they operate as a centralized system within a far-flung organization of 19 museums and galleries, a zoo, and 9 research centers. Dr. Gwinn will highlight treasures among the Libraries’ collections of over two million items, including 50,000 rare books and manuscripts, and showcase its exhibitions, public programs and digitization initiatives.