About the agency
The Smithsonian Institution was created in 1846, the result of a bequest from British scientist James Smithson, who wished to establish an American institution "for the increase & diffusion of knowledge..."
Although many Smithsonian publications are not part of the Federal Depository Library Program, the Library holds an extensive collection of Smithsonian publications, including the following series:
Annual reports (SI 1.1:) Annual reports not only detail the activities of the Smithsonian; they also contain scientific reports.
Smithsonian miscellaneous collections (SI 1.7:) Scientific publications covering biology, geology, and athropology.
Smithsonian contributions to astrophysics (SI 1.12/2:) Scientific papers reporting the results of research at the Astrophysical Observatory.
Atoll research bulletin (Science and Technology collection QE565.A8)
Smithsonian contributions to the earth sciences (Science and Technology collection QE1 .S227)
Smithsonian contributions to zoology (Science and Technology collection QL1 .S54)
Smithsonian contributions to botany (SI 1.29:)
Smithsonian contributions to paleobiology (Science and Technology collection QL1 .S54)
Smithsonian folklife studies (SI 1.43:)
Most pre-1900 Smithsonian documents, including the Annual reports, are available in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.
Additional documents covering 1910-1932 are available in the Executive Branch Documents microfiche set. Please contact a government documents librarian if you have questions about our holdings.
We also have a variety of general publications, pamphlets, posters, and other Smithsonian materials.