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Variously referred to as the “Nation’s Attic” or “Octopus on the Mall,” an Institution that is 172 years old and comprised of 19 museums, nine research centers, 21 libraries and the National Zoo is bound to have secrets. Well, maybe not secrets, but certainly the uncommon, rare, curious, extraordinary -- even perhaps bizarre. Dr. Gwinn will delve into the fascinating history of the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum complex and America’s national museum, and share some of its intriguing stories.
Nancy E. Gwinn has been director of the Smithsonian Libraries since 1997. She oversees a network of 21 libraries and central services units and is a recognized leader in international librarianship, in developing digital libraries, in building cooperative programs and partnerships, and in promoting Smithsonian scholarship to external communities.
A former Fulbright scholar at the University of Oxford in England, Dr. Gwinn holds a doctorate in American civilization from George Washington University, a Master of Arts in library science from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming.
At the heart of each of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 10 research centers, and National Zoological Park is a Smithsonian Library. Individually, each library is among the world’s greatest repositories of knowledge and an internationally recognized source for information. Collectively, they are one of America’s—and the world’s—most precious scientific and cultural resources.