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WRBG EVENT! A curator-led tour of the exhibition “Magnificent Obsessions”

September 17, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm


invites you to join us for the first gathering of our new event-year:

A tour of the exhibition “Magnificent Obsessions” with Co-Curator Mary Augusta Thomas

Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery
National Museum of American History
12th and Constitution Avenue, NW
at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.

Please submit RSVPs below by Friday, September 13th, 2019.

The Smithsonian Libraries has long benefited from the generosity of many passionate book collectors who have helped build our world-class museum library system. Our latest exhibition, Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect, tells the captivating stories of the book collectors whose diverse interests and passions helped shape—and continue to contribute to—the Smithsonian Libraries. Through rare books, manuscripts and other intriguing items from across the varied Libraries of the Smithsonian, the exhibition highlights the personal motivations and enduring impact of book collectors who were compelled to collect, preserve, and share their “magnificent obsessions” with the nation.

Feel free to visit the website: https://library.si.edu/exhibition/magnificent-obsessions


Mary Augusta Thomas, Co-Curator, will be our guide:  As Deputy Director of the Smithsonian Libraries (SIL), Ms. Thomas directs the operation of twenty-one libraries located in each of the Smithsonian’s museums and research institutes and guides SIL’s strategic planning, and administrative services.

Mary Augusta Thomas began her career in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the Smithsonian in 1976. She later served as assistant to the Director for Resource Development, Manager Planning and Administration and as the Assistant Director, Management and Technical Services, for the Libraries before beginning her most recent assignment. In 1999, Ms. Thomas received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Equal Opportunity.

Professional commitments include serving as a member of the ALA Publishing Committee and as a member of the IFLA Knowledge Management Section standing committee.  She is currently a member of the pORTAL: Libraries and the Academy Editorial Advisory Board. She served two terms as Councilor-at-large for the American Library Association, including serving as chair of the ALA Resolutions Committee. Ms. Thomas is a Past President, District of Columbia Library Association, and former chair of the DCLA Awards committee. She received the DCLA Distinguished Service Award in 2001. Elected a rotating member of the Federal Libraries and Information Centers coordinating committee (FLICC), Ms. Thomas also served as co-chair of the FLICC Library of Congress Bicentennial Working Group.

The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery on the First Floor (west) of the National Museum of American History. Afterwards, we will adjourn for a “Dutch-treat” lunch in the NMAH Cafeteria where we can continue the conversation and otherwise enjoy the company.


Directions to the American History Museum:

Note: taxi and metro are recommended, parking is difficult to locate

The closest metro on the Orange/Blue/Silver lines is at Federal Triangle. Walk south along 12th street to Constitution Ave. Enter the Museum through the Constitution Ave. entrance, where members will be greeted and led to the SIL Exhibition Gallery. Since there is security to pass through at the Museum entrance, please plan extra time.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Amanda Zimmerman, WRBG President


Is it time to renew your membership dues for 2019? Click here to renew your membership!



September 17, 2019
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


National Museum of American History
12th and Constitution Avenue NW


Tickets are not available as this event has passed.