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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reopening of the Dibner Library

The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, located in the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, in Washington, D.C., has reopened after a recent renovation. One of the Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries system, the Dibner Library was established in 1976 with a gift of thousands of rare books and manuscripts from the Burndy Library (the personal library of electrical engineer, inventor, and philanthropist Bern Dibner). The crown jewels of the Dibner Library are known as the Heralds of Science, a group of 200 landmark publications in the history of science and technology, including first editions by such renowned authors as Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Galileo.

The reopening of the Dibner Library was celebrated with a symposium, The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion in the 17th-19th Centuries, held on March 4-5, 2010. During the Symposium, Richard Holmes, winner of the 2009 National Book Critics Circle award for best non-fiction work, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, delivered the seventeenth Dibner Library Lecture.

For more information about the Dibner Library (including its Resident Scholar Program), send an email to or call 202-633-3872.

Shown above is the revised (1980) edition of the
Heralds of Science, call number Z7405.H6D52 1980 SCDIRB

--Diane Shaw, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

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