Archives

Flight 93 fuselage and call button, now housed in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

September 11

These Free Online Resources Tell the Story of 9/11 and Its Aftermath

Browse 12 archives, databases and portals that help users deepen their understanding of the attacks

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Innovation for Good

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Finds ranged from a portrait of Adolf Hitler to a revolver, gas masks, Nazi Party badges, brass knuckles, letters and documents.

Trove of Nazi Artifacts Found Stashed in Wall of German House

Likely hidden as the Allies advanced on the city at the end of WWII, the cache includes gas masks, a revolver and boxes of documents

Students from Cardiff University collaborated with archaeologists to excavate the mound on Soulton Hall's grounds.

Cool Finds

Mysterious Mound at English Manor May Conceal Remains of Medieval Castle

Archaeologists at Soulton Hall have unearthed sandstone walls and trinkets likely left behind by religious pilgrims

Previous research has largely drawn on texts created by Spanish colonizers.

New Research

Machu Picchu Is Older Than Previously Thought, Radiocarbon Dating Suggests

New research indicates that the Inca settlement was in continuous use from at least 1420 to 1530

Nancy Holt on a New York City rooftop in October 1977

Archives of Groundbreaking Land Artist Nancy Holt Head to the Smithsonian

The papers illuminate the life of a woman whose career was often overshadowed by that of her husband, Robert Smithson

In 1921, Ruth Middleton embroidered this cotton sack with a powerful family story.

History of Now

A Simple Cotton Sack Tells an Intergenerational Story of Separation Under Slavery

Historian Tiya Miles' new book traces the lives of three Black women through an embroidered family heirloom known as "Ashley's sack"

An early episode of the rebooted "Jeopardy!," which debuted in 1984 with the legendary late Alex Trebek as its host

History of Now

From 'Jeopardy' to 'Wheel of Fortune,' Archive Will Preserve Game Show History

A new collection at the Strong National Museum of Play in New York will celebrate America's beloved prime-time competitions

Max Brod, a fellow writer and the literary executor of Kafka's estate, preserved the newly digitized collection of letters, manuscripts and drawings.

You Can Now Explore an Unseen Trove of Franz Kafka's Personal Papers Online

The National Library of Israel has digitized a rare collection of the "Metamorphosis" author's letters, drawings and manuscripts

At the library of St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, Stewart and Abouna Shimon Can, a monk, view centuries-old Syriac manuscripts.

This American Monk Travels the World to Rescue Ancient Documents From Oblivion

Father Columba Stewart has visited sites from Kathmandu to Timbuktu in his mission to safeguard precious manuscripts that tell humanity's story

Prior to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the thriving neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma (seen here in 1920), was nicknamed "Black Wall Street."

Remembering Tulsa

How the Public Helped Historians Better Understand What Happened at Tulsa

A century after the massacre of a prosperous Black community, Smithsonian volunteers transcribed nearly 500 pages of vital records in less than 24 hours

The William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi Returns Hundreds of Native Americans' Remains to Chickasaw Nation

Decades after their bones were placed in storage, the state has repatriated the remains of 403 Indigenous ancestors

Jessica Esch, Totally, November 2020, 6 1/4" x 12 1/2"

Smithsonian Voices

Illustrator Jessica Esch Fell Down a 'Rabbit Hole' and Hasn't Emerged Yet

During the pandemic, the Archives of American Art provided refuge and a place for artistic inspiration

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Smithsonian Voices

The Surprising Story of the Smithsonian Sunburst

Crimilda Pontes was the Institution’s first official graphic designer and the designer of the iconic sunburst symbol

Portrait of Graceanna Lewis, The Underground Rail Road (1872)

Smithsonian Voices

Meet Naturalist Graceanna Lewis, Who Played a Key Role in the Underground Railroad

One of the first three woman to be accepted into the Academy of Natural Sciences, Lewis left behind a legacy of science and soclal progress

Fiber artist Barbara Lee Smith in her studio.

Smithsonian Voices

A Friendship Forged in the Archives

Maine writer and illustrator Jessica Esch happened upon the Archives of American Art by chance; but destiny followed

John Wanamaker, New York, NY. Spring & Summer Catalog (1915), front cover.

Smithsonian Voices

Looking at Leisure Through Early 20th-Century Trade Catalogs

How did people a 100 years ago spend their free time outside? The Trade Literature Collection offers a few clues to some very recognizable pastimes

A 1932 facsimile of the first issue of the Emancipator, published on April 30, 1820

History of Now

New Project Reimagines the U.S.' First Antislavery Newspaper, the 'Emancipator'

A joint initiative from Boston University and the "Boston Globe" revamps a 19th-century abolitionist publication for 21st-century research about race

Alexander Calder checks some of his mobiles during a 1962 exhibition of his work at Tate London.

Education During Coronavirus

Explore the Newly Digitized Archive of Alexander Calder, Famed 'Sculptor of Air'

A new online trove from the Calder Foundation offers fans endless avenues to learn about the artist's life and work

The researchers virtually opened the letters with an advanced X-ray machine. They then used computers to analyze the folds and create a readable, digital model of the unfolded message.

Art Meets Science

How Researchers Are Reading Centuries-Old Letters Without Opening Them

A new technique enables scholars to unlock the secrets of long-sealed missives

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