Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Celebrate National Library Week with Virtual Meeting Backgrounds

Example of a new meeting background in use, featuring the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)
Example of a new meeting background in use, featuring the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

A year in to the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re guessing some of you might be missing your libraries. We know we are! To give your next video meeting some book-ish ambience and to celebrate National Library Week, we’ve put together a set of backgrounds that bring you into our spaces and, in some cases, right into the pages of our books.

Below are nine images just waiting to adorn your virtual walls. Some are recent photos of our library locations. Some are vintage views from the collections of Smithsonian Institution Archives. And a few are just favorite book illustrations with a collector’s vibe. Click on the image and save to your computer, then follow the instructions provided by your virtual meeting platform (Zoom, Teams, etc.) to upload and use.

Library stacks in the National Museum of Natural History Library, main location.

Photo of a man and woman perusing library shelves.
Library stacks in the National Museum of Natural History Library, main location. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

Vintage juvenile aviation adventures shelved in the National Air and Space Museum Library's rare book room.

Photograph of juvenile aviation book spines on library shelf.
Vintage juvenile aviation adventures shelved in the National Air and Space Museum Library's rare book room. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

Reading room of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. Photo by Liz O’Brien.

Photo of library reading room with several readers at desks.
Reading room of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

Double-page plate, Dell'historia natvrale di Ferrante Imperato napolitano libri XXVIII (1599), detail.

Black and white book illustration of room covered in natural history specimens, including crocodile on ceiling.
Double-page plate, Dell'historia natvrale di Ferrante Imperato napolitano libri XXVIII (1599), detail. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

Plate No. 215, Le garde-meuble, v. 1 (1839), detail.

Book illustration of wall of book shelves with green curtains.
Plate No. 215, Le garde-meuble, v. 1 (1839), detail. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

“Living Room”, The woman's book v. I (1894), detail.

Book illustration of living room with fireplace.
“Living Room”, The woman's book v. I (1894), detail. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Libraries and Archives)

Library Stacks, Lower Main Hall, Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Image no. SIA_000095_B31_F38_002, detail.

Black and white photograph of library with book shelves and frame pictures.
Library Stacks, Lower Main Hall, Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Image no. SIA_000095_B31_F38_002, detail. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Institution Archives)

Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian, Smithsonian Library Exhibit, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Image no. SIA_000095_B41_F09_035, detail.

Black and white photograph of library display with books on table.
Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian, Smithsonian Library Exhibit, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Image no. SIA_000095_B41_F09_035, detail. Click to enlarge. (Smithsonian Institution Archives)

Museum of History and Technology Library, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 285, Image no. SIA2010-2160, detail.

Photo of library book shelves, books bound in red on the left and books bound in navy blue on the right.
Museum of History and Technology Library, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 285, Image no. SIA2010-2160, detail. Click to enlarge and download. (Smithsonian Institution Archives)
Erin Rushing

Erin Clements Rushing is the Outreach Librarian for Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. She enjoys sharing the Libraries and Archives' treasures with new audiences and telling the stories from the stacks through various outreach efforts. She coordinates social media and the blog (Unbound), plans tours and manages the internship program. She also handles rights and reproductions for library collection images and acts as point person for copyright concerns. Erin holds an M.L.S from the University of Maryland, as well as a B.A. in History and Art History.

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