Stephen Van Dyk’s interests include American architecture, 18th- and 19th-century ornament and pattern books, 19th-century children’s books, and world’s fairs.

As chief librarian at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Library, a branch of Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Van Dyk manages an estate of books located in Manhattan’s landmark Andrew Carnegie mansion.

The third-floor library, framed in dark wood and carpeted with red shag, contains more than 75,000 volumes, 4,500 trade catalogs, and 6,000 rare books about design, decorative arts, and architecture. Van Dyk arrived here in 1988 and has since penned his own tome, Rare Books (Scala, 2001) and curated exhibitions, including “Walter Crane: Design for Children” (1993), “Arquitectonica: The Times Square Project” (1997), and “Shock of the Old: Christopher Dresser” (cocurated, 2004).