Past Events


Pattern books on display in Dibner Library

Smithsonian Libraries Tours for ALA Annual

June 20, 2019
The Smithsonian Libraries invites library colleagues from around the world to tour three of our 21 branches while visiting Washington, DC for the American Libraries Association Annual Conference. These special behind-the-scenes tours will give guests an opportunity to see our rare books and special collections in art, history and science, as well as chat with Smithsonian Libraries staff and network with each other.
Book Club: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Book Club: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

June 2, 2019
Join the Smithsonian Libraries for Book Club! On June 2, we will be discussing Jenny Han's award-winning novel To All the Boys I've Loved Before at the National Postal Museum. Participants will also be treated to rare artifacts and books about the history of correspondence to shed light on some of the themes within the book.
Graphic for 2019 Honey & Wax Book Prize

Celebrating Women Book Collectors

May 31, 2019
The Smithsonian Libraries invites you to the first in a series of talks related to our newest exhibition,Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect: Celebrating Women Book Collectors: The Early Years of the Honey & Wax Prize
Book Cases Mystery Event- Potent Potions

Book Cases Mystery Event- Potent Potions

May 28, 2019
The Smithsonian Libraries has reached out to us at the Smithsonian Investigative League to solve another mystery. Our Book Cases division is dedicated to all book and library based mysteries. We need help freeing three professors from a curious spell. You’ll gather clues by attending three classes: Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and Potions. You’ll need bravery, patience, cleverness, and cunning to solve this one! Book Cases is a series of mystery and adventure events for DC middle school students.  Each event centers on a different theme, but each time 25 youth work together to crack a case using their research, technology, and critical thinking skills to solve a mystery straight out of the Smithsonian Libraries stacks.   NOTE: Book Cases events always happen on in-services days when students aren't in school. It's our way of providing fun, educational programming for your young detectives while you're at work. 
flyer for Museum ABCs

April 22 Museum ABCs Story Time

April 22, 2019
Join us at the National Museum of American History for a special edition of Museum ABCs hosted by Smithsonian Libraries. Museum ABCs is a drop-in program that introduces early learners, ages 0-6, and their adult companions to the museum collections through letter learning and hands-on activities. Our young learners are invited to join us for a story and craft centered on the Smithsonian Libraries' exhibitionMagnificent Obsessions. Stroller parking is provided. Nursing mothers are welcome. Bilingual books will be provided whenever possible.

The Art & Life of Elizabeth Gould - Facebook Live

March 22, 2019
Join us live on Facebook as we explore the life and art of Elizabeth Gould. Gould, wife of English ornithologist John Gould, is an oft overlooked contributor to natural history. As a 19th century artist, she was responsible for some of the most historically significant images of birds ever published.
Wikipedia Editing workshop graphic

Women in Natural History Wikipedia Editing Workshop

March 13, 2019
With the help of experienced Wikipedians, attendees will learn to edit Wikipedia and improve or create Wikipedia articles related to women in natural history, drawing on the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s free and extensive online collections as source materials. No editing experience is necessary.

Smithsonian Libraries in NYC - Hidden Figures from A to Z: A Colorful Rare Books Tale

February 26, 2019
Join us to hear Lilla Vekerdy and Morgan Aronson discuss their just-published ABECEDARIUM: An Adult Coloring Book for Bibliophiles!
Dr. Bruce Fye

2018 Dibner Library Lecture: Medical Book Collecting and Scholarship

December 6, 2018
In this talk, Dr. Fye will discuss medical book collecting from the perspective of a bibliomaniac who developed a passion for historical research and writing four decades ago. He will describe some medical bibliophiles who contributed to scholarship during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth and willconsider forces that have transformed book collecting during the past half century. Finally, he willtouch upon some of the challenges confronting current-day medical book collectors and the implications they have for scholarship and for the development of special collections housed in institutional libraries.
Official Guide, Souvenir Program and Picture Book of the California Pacific International Exposition, 1936.

Smithsonian Libraries, Coast to Coast: San Diego

October 4, 2018
Smithsonian Libraries, Coast to Coast: San Diego hosted by Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board members Amy Valeiras and Elizabeth Oliver
Dr. Stephanie Stillo

Smithsonian Libraries 50th Anniversary Lecture: Silk, Salvage, and Special Collections: The History of Lessing J. Rosenwald’s Graphic Arts Donations

September 18, 2018
Save the date for the next lecture in our Smithsonian Libraries 50th Anniversary series: Silk, Salvage, and Special Collections: The History of Lessing J. Rosenwald’s Graphic Arts Donations
Stein of beer in front of barrel of hops

The Garden in Your Beer

August 16, 2018
A collaboration with Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Associates, and the National Museum of American History to present an evening tasting beers from Brewery Ommegang and finding their garden ingredients. 
Plazi graphic

Plazi: An expedition to discover known biodiversity

August 6, 2018
Plazi uncovers vast troves of data and citations contained in the published record. Donato Agosti will discuss some of the first findings from the project in both human and machine readable formats at TreatmentBank, Biodiversity Literature Repository and the fledgling Openbiodiv biodiversity knowledge management system. 
Smithsonian Libraries 50th Anniversary Lecture Series - featuring Dr. Carla Hayden

Smithsonian Libraries 50th Anniversary Lecture Series - featuring Dr. Carla Hayden

July 19, 2018
Save the date! Please join the Smithsonian Libraries for a talk with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden as part of our Information Matters and 50th Anniversary Lecture Series.
Outdoor Recess

Indoor Recess: Outdoor Recess with Folklife Festival

July 6, 2018
We are taking your favorite lunchtime getaway where we exlpore libraries and make a craft and brinigng it outdoors to explore the Folklife Festival in our yearly Outdoor Recess! See the rules below on how to participate. Everyone is welcome!