Print to Digital Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does a digital subscription include membership in the Smithsonian Institution?
A: Yes, the same benefits of membership apply to both print and digital subscriptions. You can find Smithsonian membership information on our Member Services page.

Q: How does the digital issue differ from the print version?
A: There's no difference, it's an exact copy of the print version. However, digital subscribers will receive their magazine a few days sooner than print subscribers.

Q: What application do I use to read a digital issue?
A: The digital version requires free software developed by Zinio, our digital partner. When your first digital issue is ready for delivery, you'll receive an email notification along with instructions on registering with Zinio and installing their free reader software.

Q: Why do you need my email address?
A: Without your email address we have no way to deliver your issues.

Q: How do I get my digital issues?
A: You'll create a account when you install Zinios's Reader. You'll be notified, via email, as each issue becomes available. Zinio's Delivery Manager will download your issues automatically or, you can retrieve them when it's most convenient.

Q: Do I need to be connected to the internet to read Smithsonian?
A: No, you only need to be connected to the internet when you download your issues.

Q: How much disk space does the Zinio Reader and a typical issue occupy?
A: The file size of the Zinio Reader is approximately 7MB. A typical issue is 17-25MB.

Q: Can I switch to digital delivery if I already subscribe to the print edition?
A: Of course. To switch to digital please go visit Or, you may contact customer service at or 800-766-2149.

Q: Will digital archives be available?
A: Each issue of your subscription is stored on your hard drive for easy access.

Q: How many times can I download each issue?
A: You can download an issue up to three times. Once on your computer, you may continue to read each issue as many times as you like.

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