From the Collections


Bearing Witness to the Aftermath of the Birmingham Church Bombing

On September 15, 1963, four were killed in the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

Shoes worn by Maria Cecilia Benavente on September 11, 2001

Remembering 9/11: Maria Cecilia Benavente's Sandals

Maria Cecilia Benavente escaped Tower Two barefoot; in shock, she held onto her sandals

Planet of the apps: The Cooper-Hewitt will release the code behind Planetary, enabling everyone to adapt the software.

How Does a Museum Acquire an iPad App for its Collections?

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is making its first foray into design that you can’t actually see


New Video of Mei Xiang’s Squawking Baby Panda

The National Zoo's newest addition is already keeping mom up at night

Smithsonian Buddha. (Digital image courtesy of the Smithsonian. Text by Vick Gan.)

This Life-Size Sculpture Gives You a Map to the Buddhist Cosmos

Get an up-close look at the Smithsonian’s stunning Buddha

The Zoo reports that the “cub’s heart rate is steady and its belly was full.” Veterinarians report that they “could hear breath sounds from both lungs.”

New Baby: Giant Panda Gives Birth at the National Zoo!

The first cub is healthy and doing well. Mei Xiang gave birth to a second, stillborn cub on Saturday

Eugene Allen, inspiration behind The Butler, poses for a portrait by Roland Freeman.

Hear From the Real Butler of the White House, Eugene Allen

Smithsonian Folkways interviewed the man who inspired the new film starring Forest Whitaker


Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born at the National Zoo

The Great Cats team at the zoo is celebrating a conservation victory with the birth of two Sumatran tiger cubs

Classic Banjo, out August 6, features tracks by the best American banjo players over the past 60 years.

Finger-pickin’ Good: American Banjo Classics

Co-producer and banjo extraordinaire Greg C. Adams talks about Classic Banjo, a collection of American tunes that show off modern banjo's diverse roots


The Evolution of the Spacesuit

The traveling exhibition "Suited for Space" depicts spacesuits through the ages


Breaking Ground

The “Legacy of Slavery” Comes to the Smithsonian with Angola Prison Guard Tower Donation

Donations from the notorious Louisiana prison highlight a controversial history of incarceration

The Lone Ranger mask from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Is the New Tonto Any Better Than the Old Tonto?

A new film revives The Lone Ranger, but has it eliminated the TV series’ racist undertones

This burned postcard was salvaged from the wreckage of the Hindenburg in 1937.

Celebrating 20 Years of the National Postal Museum

A new gallery opening in September highlights some of the most famous stamps in American history

Three signature NASM space food examples from Neil Armstrong's meal allotments on the Apollo 11 mission.

Unpack a Meal of Astronaut Space Food

Space-age spaghetti and meatballs, along with other tastes of home, gave Apollo astronaut crews a boost


Slave Cabin Set to Become Centerpiece of New Smithsonian Museum

A slave cabin from a South Carolina plantation is being shipped to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture

This wax-and-cardboard disc from 1885 contains a recording of Bell’s voice.

We Had No Idea What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like. Until Now

Smithsonian researchers used optical technology to play back the unplayable records

In late 1938, the revolutionary DC-3 plane departed Newark Airport for Glendale, California.

How the DC-3 Revolutionized Air Travel

Before the legendary aircraft took flight, it took 25 hours to fly from New York to Los Angeles

How Two Women Ended the Deadly Feather Trade

Birds like the snowy egret were on the brink of extinction, all because of their sought-after plumage

The Inkwell used by Lincoln, the Proclamation draft and Lincoln's pen.

How the Emancipation Proclamation Came to Be Signed

The pen, inkwell and one copy of the document that freed the slaves are photographed together for the first time

Move over Hope Diamond! The Dom Pedro obelisk, a Beryl variety aquamarine, is in the house.

World’s Largest Cut Aquamarine Gives the Hope Diamond a Run for its Money

A dazzlingly blue obelisk comes to the Natural History Museum after a long journey from the mines of Brazil to the stone cutting capital of Europe

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