Collecting

Smithsonian Voices

How the Smithsonian Collected Artifacts That Told the Story of Hurricane Katrina

There are about 160,000 species of moths and butterflies worldwide, each with unique characteristics.

Smithsonian Voices

Marvel at the World's Most Magnificent Moths

With thousands of species of moths worldwide, each with unique characteristics, check out these unusual specimens in the Smithsonian collections

A 1996 copy of "Super Mario 64"—rated 9.8, or A++, on the Wata Scale—sold last Sunday for $1.56 million.

'Super Mario 64' Is Now the World's Most Expensive Video Game

A pristine copy of the 1996 game sold at auction for $1.56 million, breaking a record set by "The Legend of Zelda" just two days prior

Here are 12 of the rarest doo-wop records ever made. “Can’t Help Loving That Girl of Mine” (1954) by Philadelphia’s 
Hide-A-Ways is, Shively says, the “holy grail of vocal group
collecting.”

A Peek Inside the World's Greatest Record Store

A lovable grouch, obsessed with the magic of American sidewalk harmony, runs the Philadelphia shop

The newly auctioned gold coin is the only 1933 "Double Eagle" legally held in private hands.

The World's Most Valuable Coin Sells at Auction for $18.9 Million

Three collectibles, including a 1993 gold "Double Eagle" and the world’s rarest stamp, fetched more than $30 million at Sotheby’s

The periodical cicada species, Magicicada septendecim, will erupt from the ground this spring in the mid-Atlantic region. The last time the species from Brood X appeared for their cyclical mating cycle was in 2004.

Smithsonian Voices

What to Expect When the Cicadas Emerge This Spring

A trillion cicadas expected to invade the Washington metropolitan region when the ground warms to 64 degrees

The National Museum of Natural History’s 146 million objects and specimens are studied by researchers worldwide who are looking to understand all aspects of the natural world.

Smithsonian Voices

How Museum Collections Advance Knowledge of Human Health

Surprisingly, mosquitoes, leeches, parasites, birds and minerals can be important sources for research to fight cancer and prevent disease

A framed display of locks of George and Martha Washington's hair is estimated to sell for upward of $75,000.

Trove of Presidential Memorabilia, From Washington's Hair to JFK's Sweater, Is Up for Sale

RR Auction is offering a collection of nearly 300 artifacts, including a signed photo of Abraham Lincoln and a pen used by FDR

“We found ourselves in just that moment of knowing that history was unfolding before our very eyes on January 6,” writes the museum’s director Anthea M. Hartig (above).

Smithsonian Voices

Director of the American History Museum Reflects on the Challenges of Our Historic Times

Anthea M. Hartig, the Director of the National Museum of American History, reflects on the challenges of living through a historic time

“A key tenet of ... constitutional democracy is the peaceful transfer of power following U.S. presidential elections, dating back to the republic’s first presidential election,” said Anthea Hartig, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, in a statement. “This week, that core belief was shaken.”

History of Now

How the Smithsonian and Other Museums Are Responding to the U.S. Capitol Riot

Leading institutions have started collecting artifacts and working to contextualize last week's violent attack

The carriage that Ulysses S. Grant rode to his second inauguration is one of 900 items in the exhibition "The American Presidency."

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on the Year Ahead for Museums

After a year fraught with challenges, we must build on our strengths for a common purpose

North American species like the Colorado potato beetle and the fall armyworm have become invasive elsewhere.

Ask Smithsonian

Have Any North American Species Become Invasive Elsewhere in the World?

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By studying recent mass extinctions on islands like Hawaii, Dr. Helen James is painting a picture of bird biodiversity today. Her research involves digging up fossils in caves to study bygone species, like the Kioea.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet One of the Curators Behind the Smithsonian's 640,000 Birds

Helen James' work on avian extinction helps in understanding how bird species today respond to threats like human encroachment and environmental change

This small oil-on-panel work by Rembrandt, Abraham and the Angels (1646), is expected to sell for upward of $20 million.

Rare Rembrandt Biblical Scene Could Fetch $30 Million at Auction

In this intimate scene from Genesis, the artist depicts the moment that Abraham’s wife Sarah learns she will bear a son

The online market is flooded with coveted books, toys and antiques.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Avid Collectors Find Joy in Their Prized Possessions

At home with their collectibles, many people are expanding, shrinking or reorganizing their treasure troves

"This coin is the Holy Grail of all dollars," says Laura Sperber, president of Legend Rare Coin Auctions.

The World's Most Expensive Coin Is Up for Sale

Expected to fetch upward of $10 million, the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar was one of the first coins struck by the newly created U.S. Mint

The Smithsonian’s National Mosquito Collection has about 1.9 million specimens from around the world that researchers use to study diseases like malaria.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet the Smithsonian's Mosquito Keeper

Scientist Yvonne Linton reveals what it means to oversee a world-renowned collection of 1.9 million specimens

Not much is known about the megamouth, which was first observed by scientists in 1976. A new specimen (not pictured above) has traveled to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where researchers will study it to learn more about its behavior and life cycle.

Smithsonian Voices

Rare Megamouth Shark Arrives at the Smithsonian

Studying and eventually preserving the megamouth will help researchers learn more about the puzzling species

Scientists use a California condor specimen from 1835 — part of the Smithsonian’s very first collection of items — to study the critically endangered species. Pictured: a young California condor in Grand Canyon National Park.

Smithsonian Voices

Celebrate the Smithsonian's 174th Birthday With a Look at Its First Collections

Historic museum specimens help us learn more about what a species once was like and what it could be like in the future

The Anacostia Community Museum wants to know not just how you’re surviving this moment, but how you’re being resilient.

In This Historical Moment, Here’s How to Collect Your Thoughts

The Anacostia Community Museum wants your story for its new archive #Moments of Resilience

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