At the center of research across the Smithsonian are the specialized branches and librarians of the Smithsonian Libraries. The contents and staff of the Libraries play a key role in helping the Smithsonian’s research and curatorial staff makes sense of the museums’ almost innumerable, often unique, objects and their cultural and historical contexts. The Smithsonian Libraries are a hidden national treasure, where experts come to test and expand knowledge and where America and the world can turn for authentic answers.
The Smithsonian Libraries is a network of 20 specialized research libraries supporting each of the Institution’s museums and initiatives. The subjects comprehended by this globally unique complex of libraries and librarians are as diverse and deep as the collections, exhibits, and scholarship they support. They truly span the range of scientific and cultural pursuits of humanity from aerospace, anthropology, astronomy, astrophysics, and art history to biology and botany, to cultural history, portraiture, philately, zoology, and much, much more.