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Smithsonian Institution Library

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago


An Act of Congress dated 10 August 1846 established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, created a Board of Regents, and called for a building to house a museum with geological and mineralogical cabinets, a chemical laboratory, a gallery of art, lecture rooms, and a library. In ten years of debate preceding the act, some of the most vocal congressional members argued for the creation of a national library and saw to it that both the new institution and the Library of Congress were given copyright deposit status.


English scientist James Smithson left over $500,000 to the United States of America to establish in Washington an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge" in his will, written in 1826, which later became the foundation for the collection.


Today the Smithsonian Institution Libriaries consists of 20 branches and over 1.5 million volumes.


Information taken from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries History webpage.

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