Read our 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan. About the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. 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. [28], Construction began on the Smithsonian Institution Building ("the Castle") in 1849. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. Mission Access Smithsonian is a catalyst for consistent and integrated inclusive design that provides meaningful access to the Smithsonian Institution museums and content for visitors with disabilities. Learn about our beginning with James Smithson’s bequest to the people of the United States. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution, is a partnership of 60 national service organizations and federal agencies. It operates two landmark facilities that, together, welcome more than eight million visitors a year, making it the most visited museum in the country. The Smithsonian Institution (SI) is the world’s largest research, educational, and museum complex, with 19 museums, 9 research institutes, 7 educational units, and the National Zoo, and its work is in nearly 140 countries. [40] The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum opened in the Old Patent Office Building (built in 1867) on October 7, 1968. Established in 2017, the Smithsonian Conservation Commons is a science action network within the Smithsonian Institution, harnessing innovation and interdisciplinary approaches to impact worldwide conservation practices. We provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats. Bunch is tasked with the oversight of the institution’s 19 museums, 21 libraries, and the National Zoo, among other entities. Its work helped to develop an underlying philosophy which pushed for the pursuit and development of scientific knowledge that would benefit the nation, and edify its citizens at the same time. [29], The Smithsonian's first expansion came with construction of the Arts and Industries Building in 1881. [52] A smaller amount of funds would go to educational initiatives and digitization of collections. This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 04:53. The database will include 2D and 3D images from the Smithsonian… [It] also manage[s] leadership and professional development programs for Latino youth, emerging scholars and museum professionals. Benjamin Latrobe, who was architect for the US Capitol after the War of 1812, and William Thornton, the architect who designed the Octagon House and Tudor Place, would serve as officers. Our Mission: Understanding the natural world and our place in it. Two were the establishment of a botanical garden, and a museum which was designed to have a national and permanent status. [3] The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. And It Uplifts and Upsets", "Smithsonian Announces $1.5 Billion Fundraising Effort", "Saving America's treasures: The Smithsonian used Kickstarter to raise money for Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and Dorothy's ruby slippers. The Office of Protection Services (OPS) The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum maintains the world's largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts, encompassing all aspects of human flight, as well as related works of art and archival materials. [30], The National Zoological Park opened in 1889 to accommodate the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals. House of Representatives. [15][20], Though the Smithsonian's first secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the institution to be a center for scientific research,[21] it also became the depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections. [52] The Smithsonian said that funds raised would go toward completion of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building, and renovations of the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, and the Renwick Gallery. The Smithsonian employs approximately 6,500 federal civil service and trust-funded staff members, and during normal operations, is supplemented by over 6,000 volunteers, interns, fellows, … The Institution's 30 million annual visitors[10] are admitted without charge. As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the National Museum of African American History and Culture will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, November 23. Queries come from offices across the Smithsonian, and from around the world. Was it worth it? The following is a list of Smithsonian research centers, with their affiliated museum in parentheses: Also of note is the Smithsonian Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Silver Hill, Maryland (Suitland), which is the principal off-site conservation and collections facility for multiple Smithsonian museums, primarily the National Museum of Natural History. Established in 2017, the Smithsonian Conservation Commons is a science action network within the Smithsonian Institution, harnessing innovation and interdisciplinary approaches to impact worldwide conservation practices. Smithsonian Journeys Highlights of Italy Experience the best of Italy's countryside and its famed cities Smithsonian Journeys Holiday Markets Discover Europe's festive traditions in charming riverside towns. Beginning in 1825, weekly sittings were arranged during sessions of Congress for the reading of scientific and literary productions, but this was continued for only a short time, as the number attending declined rapidly. Dine. The Smithsonian is one of the world’s foremost research centers in science, the arts, and the humanities. The Global Volcanism Program (GVP) seeks better understanding of all volcanoes through documenting their eruptions--small as well as large--during the past 10,000 years. The Smithsonian Institution is releasing 2.8 million images from its massive collection online free for anyone to use. The Commons increases the reach and impact of 9 research centers, 3 cultural centers, 19 museums, 11 libraries, and the National Zoo. [50], In 2011, the Smithsonian undertook its first-ever capital fundraising campaign. We provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats. The Smithsonian Institution Archives serves as the institutional memory of a unique cultural organization. For more Smithsonian numbers visit the Smithsonian Metrics Dashboard. "[72] Today, the website features a high-tech virtual museum. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion, with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. [44], Eleven years later, the National Museum of African Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery opened in a new, joint, underground museum between the Freer Gallery and the Smithsonian Castle. "Smithsonian Chief Will Retire in 2014. The Smithsonian Institution Archives serves as the institutional memory of a unique cultural organization. [56], The Smithsonian Institution announced in January 2015 that it is in talks to build its first permanent overseas exhibition space within London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Global Change Research Program. A gift to the Smithsonian Campaign created the Tennenbaum Marine Observatory Network, which standardizes measurements around the biological changes in coastal zones. [75], After difficult times in the first few years, the center improved. [52] This included 192 gifts of at least $1 million. Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission will commemorate the first lunar landing in 1969, and the pioneering flights that came before, in a new, state-of-the-art traveling exhibition. The Trust builds on the mission of Englishman James Smithson (c.1765-1829), a chemist and mineralogist and the founding donor of the Smithsonian who left the entirety of his estate to the United States to found "at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Its research and outreach activities serve all audiences, within and beyond its walls. [31], The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to similarly accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, which had previously been housed in the Castle and then the Arts and Industries Building. Previously two separate entities, the Smithsonian Libraries and the Smithsonian Institution Archives, we have now joined forces to better serve researchers, curators, educators, and learners of all ages at the Smithsonian and around the world. Our Community Portal is open to any venue who may be interested in hosting a SITES exhibition, but an account is required in order to access some content As the world's largest traveling exhibition service, SITES offers exhibitions to museums, libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools, and other institutions across the nation. [99], Group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government, "Smithsonian" redirects here. [59][60], The Smithsonian Institution has many categories of displays that can be visited at the museums. When Hungerford died childless in 1835,[13] the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. The Smithsonian Institution is now the largest museum and research complex in the world. [73], Pilar O'Leary launched the program when she served as executive director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. The history of the Smithsonian reflects the history of science, technology, art, and culture, both nationally and internationally. The Smithsonian Institution Libraries hold 2 million library volumes. The National Museum of American History is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections. 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. It did, and the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Among all the activities planned by the Institute, only a few were actually implemented. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr., its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The Smithsonian Institution fosters the human capacity for change by fueling the human capacity to learn. We focus on developing solutions to further the Smithsonian's mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” through the use of three-dimensional scanning technology, analysis tools, and our distribution platform. [15] The American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. [26] The Institution became a magnet for young scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. After heated debate, Massachusetts representative (and former president) John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest[18] and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. [42], The first new museum building to open since the National Museum of Natural History was the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1974. Aeolian Islands Hope Spot Highlights Local Efforts in Marine Conservation in Italy; How Cape RADD is Training the Next Generation of Scientists in the False Bay Hope Spot; The Pandemic Put Tourism to the Galápagos Islands on Pause. [57] In 2008, 58 of these traveling exhibitions went to 510 venues across the country. The Smithsonian Institution (/smɪθˈsoʊniən/ smith-SOH-nee-ən), also known simply as The Smithsonian, is a trust instrumentality of the United States[2] composed as a group of museums and research centers. Explore dining, shopping, theater and interactive activities while you are visiting our locations. The Archives’ mission is to document the goals and activities of the whole Smithsonian in its pursuit of increasing and diffusing knowledge, and exciting learning in everyone. [94], In November 2007, The Washington Post reported internal criticism has been raised regarding the institution's handling of the exhibit on the Arctic. The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program offers opportunities for independent research or study related to Smithsonian collections, facilities, and/or research interests of the Institution and its staff. The Smithsonian Board of Regents said it asked regent John McCarter, Jr., to lead a search committee. Mission Empowering people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. Benjamin Latrobe, who was architect for the US Capitol after the … The Smithsonian is a global organization actively involved in conserving biodiversity, priceless art, and much more. [72], The center is a division of the Smithsonian Institution. [23] The voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, and diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, and ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean. Miguel Pieras Handwritten ink on paper pasted on wood board National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, MS 1082. See America through the Smithsonian lens in 2021! [14] Congress officially accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836. Harvard University Press. Other museums are located elsewhere in Washington, D.C., with two more in New York City and one in Chantilly, Virginia. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists. Institution exhibits are free of charge, though in 2010 the Deficit Commission recommended admission fees. the Railroad Museum is Now Recognized as a Smithsonian Affiliate", "Smithsonian – Provenance in the World War II Era, 1933–1945", "Smithsonian reveals its hidden treasures", "Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Arrive for Week of Cultural Programs in Washington, D.C.", "Noxious Bogs & Amorous Elephants: Smithsonian's birth, 35 years ago, only hinted at the splendors to follow", "Smithsonian Responds to Deficit Commission's Recommendation on Admission Fees | Newsdesk", Cooper, Rebecca. The Smithsonian's terms of use for its digital content, including images, are set forth on the Smithsonian Web site. The Institute proposed a number of undertakings. [52] As of September 2017, the Smithsonian claimed to have raised $1.79 billion, with three months left in the formal campaign calendar. The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution… "[73], The Institution publishes Smithsonian magazine monthly and Air & Space magazine bimonthly. arts, and to establish a national museum of natural history," this organization continued to press Congress to establish a museum which would be structured in terms that were very similar to those finally incorporated into the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian also has a large number of traveling exhibitions, operated through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). 3D Digitization. [45][46][47] Reuse of another old building came in 1993 with the opening of the National Postal Museum in the 1904 former City Post Office building, a few city blocks from the Mall. [74], At the time of its creation, the Smithsonian Institution had other entities dedicated to other minority groups: National Museum of the American Indian, Freer-Sackler Gallery for Asian Arts and Culture, African Art Museum, and the National Museum of African-American Heritage and Culture. [71] The MSC covers 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) of land, with over 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of space, making it one of the largest set of structures in the Smithsonian. In addition, staff experts conduct oral and video histories that further document important figures and events in the histo… Commercial uses are generally restricted unless permission is obtained. Recent Posts. [51] The $1.5 billion effort raised $1 billion at the three-year mark. Smithsonian Institution | 118,658 followers on LinkedIn | Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Smithsonian is the secretary, who is appointed by the Board of Regents. [75], According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, when former Latino Center executive director Pilar O'Leary first took the job, the center faced employees who had "serious performance issues". Reports were to be published periodically to share this knowledge with the greater public, but due to a lack of funds, this initially did not occur. Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission is organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Join the Smithsonian Institution as we answer these questions and more. You are fueling visionary research and hands-on science for a better understanding of our world. The Archives’ mission is to document the goals and activities of the whole Smithsonian in its pursuit of increasing and diffusing knowledge, and exciting learning in everyone. At the Smithsonian . Nagel, Paul (1999). Our Mission Smithsonian was the result of Secretary of the Smithsonian S. Dillon Ripley asking the retired editor of Life magazine Edward K. Thompson to produce a magazine "about things in which the Smithsonian Institution is interested, might be interested or ought to be interested". The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution was established as an independent trust instrumentality of the United States by an Act of Congress in 1846 with a clear mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge. "Smithsonian Institution Names Cornell President As Its 13th Secretary. More than 60,000 individuals and organizations donated money to the campaign by the time it went public. The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the … Mission and History Through the power of culture, we build understanding, strengthen communities, and reinforce our shared humanity. Kangaroo Island North Coast … See Paris through the lens of the African American experience on this new virtual tour! [52] Members of the boards of directors of various Smithsonian museums donated $372 million. The building opened in 1855. This program encourages students to be proud of their roots and learn more about their cultural heritage to inspire them to educate the public in their own communities about how Latinos are enriching America's cultural fabric. Watch. Jul 3, 2016 - Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service - About the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service's mission, history, and goals. [23] These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections,[24] 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. Historical research is also conducted in support of public programs, publications, and exhibitions. His job is a bit like a CEO’s, he explained. Officers were elected in October, 1816, and the organization was granted a charter by Congress on April 20, 1818 (this charter expired in 1838). We focus on developing solutions to further the Smithsonian's mission of "the increase and diffusion of knowledge" through the use of three-dimensional capture technology, analysis tools, and our distribution platform. The Smithsonian Institution Archives captures, preserves, and shares with the public the history of this extraordinary Institution. The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is a research and educational unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The first mission to put a man on the moon came to a celebratory end when on July 24, ... Dane Penland / Smithsonian Institution. Open Access furthers the Smithsonian’s mission which has been the same since its founding in 1846: for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge." It has over 12 miles (19 km) of cabinets, and more than 31 million objects. The Smithsonian's mission is "the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithsonian Institution, research institution founded by the bequest of James Smithson, an English scientist who had stipulated in his will that if his heir died without issue, his remaining assets should be given to the United States for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.’ [35], More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology (renamed the National Museum of American History in 1980), opened in 1964. Main site is in Panama City; branches in research stations on Barro Colorado Island on Gatun Lake, and on Colón Island, Bocas del Toro Province . [96], The Smithsonian Institution provides access to its image collections for educational, scholarly, and nonprofit uses. Regents are compensated on a part-time basis. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states,[note 1] Puerto Rico, and Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates.[8][9]. In 1995, controversy arose over the exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum with the display of the Enola Gay, the Superfortress used by the United States to drop the first atomic bomb used in World War II. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19 th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The Institute first met in Blodget's Hotel, later in the Treasury Department and City Hall, before being assigned a permanent home in 1824 in the Capitol building. [76], The Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a program within the Latino Center that reaches out to Latino high school students with the goal of encouraging them to become leaders in arts, sciences, and the humanities. [87][88], As approved by Congress on August 10, 1846, the legislation that created the Smithsonian Institution called for the creation of a Board of Regents to govern and administer the organization. The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services provides a safe and secure environment for visitors, staff, and collections. Mission and History Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. It was founded on August 10, 1846, "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The museum contained specimens of zoology, botany, archeology, fossils, etc., some of which were passed on to the Smithsonian Institution after its formation. According to the Smithsonian, the center "support[s] scholarly research, exhibitions, public and educational programs, web-based content and virtual platforms, and collections and archives. The 3D Program is a small group of technologists working within the Smithsonian Institution Digitization Program Office. [19] Finally, on August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a secretary of the Smithsonian. Smithsonian 3D. The 3D Program is a small group of technologists working within the Smithsonian Institution's Digitization Program Office. [7] Additional facilities are located in Maryland, New York, and Virginia. Honorary members included James Madison, James Monroe, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Other prominent members, who numbered from 30-70 during the Institute's existence, included John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Judge William Cranch, and James Hoban. Shop. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, African Art. As a New Hope Spot, What’s In Store for a More Sustainable Future? On February 25, 2020, the Smithsonian launched Open Access, releasing 2.8 million 2D and 3D images and 173-years of staff-created data into the public domain as Creative Commons Zero. [73] As of May 2016, the center is run by an executive director, Eduardo Díaz. 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. Paris: The African American Experience Virtual Tour. Mission. The Smithsonian has close ties with 168 other museums in 39 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico. 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