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Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall serves as the Institution's headquarters.
Established August 10, 1846
Location Washington, D.C.
Director G. Wayne Clough
Public transit access Smithsonian, L'Enfant Plaza Maryland Avenue exit.

The Smithsonian Institution (pronounced /smɪθˈsoʊnɪən/) is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its shops and its magazines. Most of its facilities are located in Washington, D.C., but its 19 museums, zoo, and nine research centers include sites in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere (see below). It has over 136 million items in its collections,[1] publishes two magazines named Smithsonian (monthly) and Air & Space (bimonthly), and employs the Smithsonian Police to protect visitors, staff, and the property of the museums. The Institution's current logo is a stylized sun.



The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge from a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829), who had never visited the United States himself. In Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the government of the United States for creating an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to 104,960 gold sovereigns, or US$500,000 ($10,100,997 in 2008 U.S. dollars after inflation). After heated debate as to whether the federal government had the authority to accept the gift, Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust July 1, 1836.[2]

Eight years later, Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, a hybrid public/private partnership, and the act was signed into law on August 10, 1846 by James Polk. (See 20 U.S.C. § 41 (Ch. 178, Sec. 1, 9 Stat. 102).) The bill was drafted by Indiana Democratic Congressman Robert Dale Owen, a Socialist and son of Robert Owen, the father of the cooperative movement.

The crenellated architecture of the Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall has resulted in its informal name of "The Castle". It was built by architect James Renwick, Jr. and completed in 1855. Many of the Institution's other buildings are historical and architectural landmarks. Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer's donation of his private collection to the Freer Gallery, and funds to build the museum, were among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual.

Though the Smithsonian's first secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, before long it became the depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections.

The United States Exploring Expedition by the U.S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842. The voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 examples, shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater and ethnographic specimens from the South Pacific. These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts and natural history specimens.

The Institution became a magnet for natural scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club.

The asteroid 3773 Smithsonian, discovered in 1984, is named in honor of the Institution.

The 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was given rights to use the Smithsonian Institution's name for the first time in its history.


The Smithsonian Castle doorway

The Smithsonian Institution is established as a trust instrumentality by act of Congress, and it is functionally and legally a body of the federal government. More than two-thirds of the Smithsonian's workforce of some 6,300 persons are employees of the federal government. The Smithsonian is represented by attorneys from the United States Department of Justice in litigation, and money judgments against the Smithsonian are also paid out of the federal treasury.

The legislation that created the Smithsonian Institution (approved by Congress Aug. 10, 1846) called for the creation of a Board of Regents to govern and administer the organization. This 17-member board meets at least four times a year and includes as ex officio members the Chief Justice of the United States and the Vice President of the United States. The nominal head of the Institution is the Chancellor, an office which has traditionally been held by the Chief Justice. In September 2007, the Board created the position of Chair of the Board of the Board of Regents, a position currently occupied by Patricia Q. Stonesifer of Washington State.[3]

Other members of the Board of Regents are three members of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House; three members of the Senate, appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate; and nine citizen members, nominated by the Board and approved by the Congress in a joint resolution signed by the President of the United States.[4] Regents who are representatives and senators serve for the duration of their elected term. Citizen Regents serve a maximum of two six-year terms. Regents are compensated on a part-time basis. The chief executive officer of the Smithsonian is the Secretary, who is appointed by the Board of Regents. There have been 12 Secretaries since the Smithsonian was established. The Secretary also serves as secretary to the Board of Regents but is not a voting member of that body. The Secretary of the Smithsonian has the privilege of the floor at the United States Senate.


Secretaries of the Smithsonian

  1. Joseph Henry, 1846–1878
  2. Spencer Fullerton Baird, 1878–1887
  3. Samuel Pierpont Langley, 1887–1906
  4. Charles Doolittle Walcott, 1907–1927
  5. Charles Greeley Abbot, 1928–1944
  6. Alexander Wetmore, 1944–1952
  7. Leonard Carmichael, 1953–1964
  8. Sidney Dillon Ripley, 1964–1984
  9. Robert McCormick Adams, 1984–1994
  10. Ira Michael Heyman, 1994–1999
  11. Lawrence M. Small, 2000–2007
  12. Cristián Samper, 2007–2008
  13. G. Wayne Clough (Acting Secretary), 2008-

The Colombian biologist Cristián Samper was the first Latin American to hold the position. Born in Costa Rica, he was raised in Colombia, the country of his father, Armando Samper, from one year of age. He received his Bachelor's degree in Biology from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is one of the founders of the Von Humboldt Institute in Colombia, and since 2003 had been the director of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C..[5]

Office of Protection Services (OPS)

The Smithsonian Office Of Protection Services oversees security at the Smithsonian Facilities. The Secretary of the Smithsonian may designate employees to have Special Police Status to enforce regulations within the Smithsonian facilities and grounds as well as areas of the National Capital Parks in D.C.

According to 40 U.S.C. § 6306, Smithsonian staff who are designated as Special police "may, within the specified buildings and grounds, enforce, and make arrests for violations of, sections 6302 and 6303 of this title, any regulation prescribed under section 6304 of this title, federal or state law, or any regulation prescribed under federal or state law; and (2) may enforce concurrently with the United States Park Police the laws and regulations applicable to the National Capital Parks, and may make arrests for violations of sections 6302 and 6303 of this title, within the several areas located within the exterior boundaries of the face of the curb lines of the squares within which the specified buildings and grounds are located."

The Office of Protection Services has three Main positions within the division, all of which are U.S. Government Positions:

  • Smithsonian Museum Protection Officers/Guards undergo three weeks of specialized training which includes firearm use, arrest procedures, handcuffing and OC Spray use and are assigned to one of 19 Smithsonian Museum or Research sites in New York City or the District of Columbia
  • Smithsonian Museum Physical Security Specialists and Supervisory Physical Security Specialists assist in overseeing the daily protection operations of the various Museum Sites. Each Specialist is assigned to a central division of OPS and has responsibilities for all Smithsonian sites.
  • Smithsonian Zoological Park Police Officers are assigned to the 163-acre (0.66 km2) National Zoo owned by the Smithsonian in the District Of Columbia. Zoological officers receive specialized Police Officer training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)

Smithsonian museums

A variety of aircraft displayed at the National Air and Space Museum. Most notable: Ford Trimotor and Douglas DC-3 (top and second from top)

Washington, D.C.

New York, NY

Chantilly, VA

Leesburg, VA

  • Smithsonian Naturalist Center

In addition, there are 156 museums that are Smithsonian affiliates.[1]

Smithsonian research centers

The following is a list of Smithsonian research centers, with their affiliated museum in parentheses:


Enola Gay Display

See also: Enola Gay: Recent Developments

In 1994, the display of the Enola Gay, the Superfortress which executed the first atomic bombing in World War Two, at the National Air and Space Museum became a controversy. The American Legion and Air Force Association were concerned that the display unfairly put forward one side of the debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, emphasizing the death and destruction of the bombing without the context of the war. In order to take a neutral stance on this politically sensitive topic, the aircraft was placed on display with merely technical data and without discussion of its historic role.

Censorship of "Seasons of Life and Land"

In 2003, a National Museum of Natural History exhibit, Subhankar Banerjee's "Seasons of Life and Land," featuring photographs of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was censored and moved to the basement by Smithsonian officials because they feared that its subject matter was too politically controversial.[6]

In November 2007 the Washington Post reported that internal criticism has been raised regarding the institution's handling of an exhibit on the Arctic. According to documents and e-mails, the exhibit and its associated presentation were edited at high levels to add "scientific uncertainty" regarding the nature and impact of global warming on the Arctic. Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Cristián Samper was interviewed by the Post and claimed that the exhibit was edited because it contained conclusions that went beyond what could be proven by contemporary climatology.[7]

Strong Copyright Restrictions

The Smithsonian Institution provides access to its image collections for educational, scholarly and non-profit uses. Commercial uses are generally restricted unless permission is obtained. Smithsonian images fall into different copyright categories; some are protected by copyright, many are subject to license agreements or other contractual conditions, and some fall into the public domain, such as those prepared by Smithsonian employees as part of their official duties. The Smithsonian’s terms of use for its digital content, including images, are set forth at on the Smithsonian Web site.[8][9]

The Smithsonian Institution has been criticized for overly restrictive copyright policies for its image collections, which overwhelmingly consist of public domain content dating from the 19th century. An image without a Smithsonian watermark and at a resolution suitable for publication requires a licensing fee (unless covered under Fair Use provisions), manual approval by the Smithsonian staff, and the restriction of any further use without permission.

This conflicts with the institution's own policy, expressed in a 2005 memo, "The Smithsonian cannot own copyright in works prepared by Smithsonian employees paid from federal funds".[10]

In April 2006, the institution entered into an agreement of "first refusal" rights for its vast silent and public domain film archives with Showtime Networks. Critics contend this agreement effectively gives Showtime control over the film archives, as it requires filmmakers to obtain permission from the network to use extensive amounts of film footage from the Smithsonian archives.[11]

When the formation of Smithsonian Networks was announced, a common misconception was that the agreement would limit access to Smithsonian collections, archives and staff for independent producers because it gave Showtime exclusive rights to this material. In fact, independent producers still have the same access to the Smithsonian and its collections as they had prior to the agreement[citation needed] and the process to film at the Smithsonian remains the same. Since January 2006, more than 500 requests from independent producers have come into the Smithsonian for filming in the museums and collections, archival footage and photos.


Further reading

  • Nina Burleigh, Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson, John Quincy Adams, and the Making of America's Greatest Museum, The Smithsonian, HarperCollins, September 2003, hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN 0-06-000241-7
  • Heather Ewing (2007). The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9780747576532. 

External links

Coordinates: 38°53′20″N 77°01′34″W / 38.8888°N 77.026°W / 38.8888; -77.026

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, an American institution of learning in Washington, D.C., founded by the bequest of James Smithson, who seems to have known of Joel Barlow's plan for a national institution of learning in the city of Washington in accordance with George Washington's recommendation in his farewell address of 1796. His estate was left to a nephew, Henry James Hungerford, with the stipulation that should Hungerford die without issue the whole estate should go "to the United States of America to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." Hungerford died without issue in 1835. There was much opposition in America to the acceptance of Smithson's bequest, especially by John C. Calhoun and others who held that Congress had no power under the Constitution to accept such a gift, but the gift was accepted, largely through the efforts of John Quincy Adams; and Richard Rush, sent to England as agent for the United States, quickly obtained a verdict for the American claim to the estate. In September 1838 104,960 in gold sovereigns was delivered from the clipper "Mediator" to the Philadelphia mint, where it was recoined into American money, $08,318.46; in 1867, after the death of Hungerford's mother, a residuary legacy of $26,210 was received and. the fund then amounted to $650,000. An act of the 7th of July 1838 (repealed in 1841) directed the investment of the money in state bonds, and $500,00o was invested in Arkansas bonds which proved worthless, but Congress, considering that it was a trustee of the fund, made an appropriation to cover the loss. By other gifts, notably that of $216,000 from Thomas George Hodgkins (d. 1892) of Setauket, Long Island, New York, the fund was increased: in 1910 it amounted to $944,918, drawing interest at 6%.

There were many different suggestions as to how the fund should be used. The character of the National Institute (called National Institution before 1843), which was organized in 1840 "to promote science and the useful arts and to establish a national museum of history," had a great influence in shaping the act (approved on the 10th of August 1846) establishing the Smithsonian Institution and providing for an "establishment" by this name composed of the president, vice-president, secretaries of state, treasury, war and navy, the postmastergeneral, the attorney-general,' the chief-justice of the supreme court and the commissioner of the patent office of the United States, the mayor of the city of Washington (amended in 1871 to read: governor of the District of Columbia), and such other persons as they may elect honorary members. 2 The same act provided for the government of the Institution by a Board of Regents composed of the vice-president of the United States, the mayor of the city of Washington (amended in 1871 as above), three members of the Senate (appointed by its president), three members of the House of Representatives 3 (appointed by its speaker), two members of the National Institute of the City of Washington (chosen by joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives), and four others, inhabitants of four different states; the Board chose from its members a chancellor (in practice the vice-president of the United States until 1850 and since then the chief-justice). The act provided for the delivery to the Board of Regents and the maintenance in the buildings, which were to be erected according to the act, of "all objects of art and of foreign and curious research, and all objects of natural history," &c., belonging to the United States, including the collections of Smithson; and it enacted that any applicant for copyright should deliver one copy of the work to be copyrighted to the librarian of the Smithsonian Institution and another to the Librarian of Congress. 4 Thanks to the efforts of J. Q. Adams, provision was made for the use of the income of the fund only and the principal was permanently invested.

The Regents met on the 7th of September 1846. Those appointed were: George Evans, Sidney Breese and Isaac S. Pennybacker, senators; Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough and Henry W. Hilliard, members of the House of Representatives; Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush and William C. Preston, by joint resolution, from four different states; and Alexander Dallas Bache and General Joseph G. Totten, from the National Institute. They elected (Dec. 1846) as first secretary and director of the Institution, Joseph Henry, then professor of natural philosophy in the College of New Jersey (Princeton University), who presented in his first annual report (Dec. 1847) a "program of organization." 5 The first paragraph contained the following: - "To Increase Knowledge: It is proposed (1) to stimulate men of talent to make original researches, by offering suitable rewards for memoirs containing new truths; and (2) to appropriate annually a portion of the income for particular researches, under the direction of 1 The Secretary of the Interior was added in 2877 and the Secretary of Agriculture in 2894.

2 No honorary members have been chosen since 1873, and an amendment of 1894 omits the provision for their election.

3 In January 3847 James D. Westcott objected to the constitutionality of the act because by it members of Congress were appointed (contrary to section 6, part ii. of the Constitution) to civil offices under the authority of the United States created during their term of office in Congress.

4 In 1865 the actual granting of copyright was transferred from the Smithsonian Institution to the Library of Congress.

5 Reprinted in Smithsonian Institution Miscellaneous Collections, vol. xxi. pp. 399-406.

suitable persons. To Diffust Knowledge: It is proposed (1) to publish a series of periodical reports on the progress of different branches of knowledge; and (2) to publish occasionally separate treatises on subjects of general interest." Henry was executive head (secretary) of the Institution from 1846 until his death in 1878 and its organization is due largely to him. He opposed the scheme for the gradual formation of a general library under the charge of the Institution, and in 1855 committed the Board of Regents to a repeal of the previous practice of spending one-half of the annual income on the museum and library, and this action was approved by an investigating congressional committee s Partly because of the prominence given to meteorological research when Henry was at the Albany Academy, and partly through the influence of James Pollard Espy (1785-1860), in 1846 a plan was presented for the unification and systematization of weather observation under the Institution, and in December 2847 an appropriation was made for such meteorological research; in 1849 telegraphic transmission of meteorological intelligence collected by the Institution was begun; in 1850 a standard "Smithsonian barometer" (Arnold Guyot's improvement of Ernst's improved Fortin "cistern barometer") was first distributed; weather maps were successfully made in 1856; and in 1870 the meteorological work of the Institution was incorporated as the Weather Bureau, independent of the Institution. After 1854 Henry's annual reports contained a "` general appendix" with reports of lectures, such as were held under the auspices of the Institution until 1865, summaries of correspondence, special papers, &c. Before 1870 meteorology bulked largely in these reports; after that year there was more North American archaeology and ethnology.

Spencer F. Baird, Henry's successor, incorporated in the general appendix annual reports on the progress of the sciences, and he perfected Henry's system of "international exchanges," under which the Institution, through agents in the principal cities of Europe, exchanges its own publications, those of other departments of the United States government, and those of learned societies for foreign publications. Baird had been at the head of the United States National Museum, a branch of the Institution, before he became secretary of the Institution, and it was particularly developed during his administration. It was built up around the collections of the United States Patent Office, which were turned over to it in 1858, and those of the National Institute, transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1861, when the Institute was dissolved. A part of the collection (including Smithson's collection) was destroyed by fire in 1865. The small art collection which remained was exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery until 1896. A new building for the Museum was erected in 1881. Mrs Harriet Lane Johnston (1833-1903) left her art collection to a national gallery of art, when such a gallery should be established, and in 1906 the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia decreed that the art collection of the National Museum was a "National Gallery" and turned this collection over to the National Museum, whose art collections have been called since that time the National Gallery of Art and have been enlarged by the gift from Charles L. Freer of Detroit of more than 2300 pieces (since 1904), including the work of American artists (especially Whistler, Tryon and T. W. Dewing) and of Japanese and Chinese masters, and by the gift of about 90 American paintings from W. T. Evans of New York City. The museum gained much valuable archaeological and ethnological material from the exploring parties sent out under J. W. Powell, excellent ichthyological specimens through Baird's position as United States Fish Commissioner, and general collections from the exhibits made at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 by the United States government; and it has a good herbarium. The Bureau of American Ethnology was established as a branch of the Institution in 1879, when the various organizations doing survey work in the West united as the United States Geological Survey and anthropological and ethnological research was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution. The director of the Bureau of Ethnology in1879-1902was J. W. Powell; he was succeeded by William H. Holmes.

Secretary Baird planned an astrophysical observatory and in 1887 appointed as assistant secretary of the Institution, to take charge of the observatory, Samuel P. Langley (q.v.), who succeeded as secretary upon Baird's death in the same year. In 1890 a small observatory was built in the Smithsonian Park; in 1891 an appropriation was made for astrophysical work and $5000 was contributed by the executors of Dr J. H. Kidder (1842-1889). Langley's principal research in the observatory was on the nature of the infra-red portion of the spectrum. His name is also closely connected with his paper entitled Experiments in Aerodynamics (1891), and with the experiments and mathematical studies carried on under the Institution which proved that a machine other than a balloon could be made which would produce enough mechanical power to support itself and fly. Under the terms of the Hodgkins bequest prizes were s Congress was long jealous of the power of the Board of Regents; and in Congress there was for many years open opposition notably on the part of Andrew Johnson, to the very existence of the Institution.

I January 1907, after Langley's death, Charles Doolittle Walcott (b. 1850), a geologist, director of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1894-1907, became secretary of the Institution.

offered in 1893 for research and investigation of atmospheric air in connexion with the welfare of mankind; in 1895 an award of $ i o,000 was made to Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay for their discovery of argon; and a medal was awarded to Sir James Dewar in 1899 and one to Sir J. J. Thomson in 1901. During Langley's administration the American Historical Association was incorporated in 1889 as a branch of the Institution, to whose secretary it makes its annual reports; and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was similarly incorporated in 1896. By acts of Congress of the 2nd of March 1889 and the 30th of April 1890 the National Zoological Park was established under the Institution; and in a park of 266 acres in the valley of Rock Creek a small collection was installed. In Langley's Annual Reports the summaries of the advance of science were omitted in 1889 and thereafter special papers of interest to professional students were published in their place. The Smithsonian Park occupies a square equivalent to nine city blocks, almost exactly the same size as the Capitol grounds. The oldest building, that of the Institution proper, was erected in 1847-1855; it is Seneca brown stone in a mingled Gothic and Romanesque style, designed by James Renwick, and occupies the S.W. corner of the grounds. E. of it is the building of the United States National Museum (330 ft. sq.), erected in 1881; and on the N. side of the park is the new building of the National Museum (1903). On the grounds is a bronze statue of Joseph Henry by W. W. Story.

The Institution publishes: Annual Reports (1846 seq.), in which the Reports of the National Museum were included until 1884 - since then they appeared as "part ii." of that Report; The Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge (quarto, 1848 sqq.); The Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections (octavos, 1862 sqq.); Proceedings of the United States National Museum (1878 sqq.); Bulletin of the United States National Museum (1875 sqq.), containing larger monographs than those printed in the Proceedings; and occasional Special Bulletins; Annual Reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1880 sqq.); Bulletin (1877 sqq.), including The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (1907),(1907), part i. being Bulletin 30; and Contributions to North American Ethnology (1877 sqq.); Annals of the Astrophysical Observatory (1900 sqq.); and Annual Reports of the American Historical Association (1890 sqq.).


- See Wm. J. Rhees, A List of Publications of the Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1903 (Washington, 1903), being No. 1376 of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections; also The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896: The History of its First HalfCentury (Washington, 1897), edited by George Brown Goode, assistant secretary of the Institution; Wm. J. Rhees, Smithson and His Bequest (ibid. 1880), and The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1899 (ibid. 1901); and Richard Rathbun, The National Gallery of Art (ibid. 1909), being Bulletin 70 of the U.S. National Museum.

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Simple English

File:Smithsonian Building
The Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle" on the National Mall serves as the Institution's headquarters.

The Smithsonian Institution (pronounced Smith-sone-ian) is an educational and research institute and museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its shops and its magazine. Most of the institution is located in Washington, D.C., but its 19 museums, zoo, and eight research centers include sites in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere. It has over 142 million items in its collections.

A monthly magazine published by the Smithsonian Institution is also named the Smithsonian.



The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge by a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson (17651829), who had never visited the United States himself. In Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the United States of America for creating an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to 104,960 gold sovereigns, or USD 500,000 ($9,235,277 in 2005 U.S. dollars after inflation).

Eight years later, Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall is known as "The Castle", because its design looks similar to a European castle.

Though the Smithsonian's first leader (called "secretary"), Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, before long it became the depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections.

The voyage of the U.S. Navy went around the world between 1838 and 1842. The United States Exploring Expedition collected thousands of animal specimens, herbs, shells, minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater and ethnographic specimens from the South Pacific. These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by the military and civilian surveys in the American West.

Smithsonian museums

A variety of aircraft displayed at the National Air and Space Museum. Most notable: Ford Trimotor and Douglas DC-3 (top and second from top)

Washington, DC

  • Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • National Air and Space Museum (Mall museum)
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture (not yet built)
  • National Museum of African Art
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of the American Indian (Mall museum)
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • National Postal Museum
  • S. Dillon Ripley Center
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Building
  • Smithsonian National Zoological Park (National Zoo)
  • The National Gallery of Art is affiliated with the Smithsonian, but it is run by a separate charter.

New York, NY

  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center

Chantilly, VA

In addition, there are many museums that are Smithsonian affiliates.

Other websites

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