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.
Interesting facts about The Smithsonian Libraries:
- Has 20 branch libraries, more than 1.5 million volumes, including 40,000 rare books.
- Manuscripts: 2,109 linear feet
- Microfilm and -fiche Items: 190,207
- Journal Subscriptions: 5,534
- Electronic Journals/Databases: 2,667
- Catalog Records in Online Catalog: 757,267
- Website Use, Annual Hits: 103,877,548
- Website Use, Annual, Visitor Sessions: 3,425,485
You can find the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Homepage here.