James Smithson

The document, which had been stored in a folded shape for more than 200 years, is composed of parchment pages that offer new insight into the Smithsonian founder's family history.

New Analysis Reveals More Details About Smithsonian Founder's Illegitimate Family Tree

The newly recovered 1787 Hungerford Deed, detailing a contentious squabble over property and prestige, can now be viewed in a new virtual exhibition

The first page of the Hungerford Deed, 1787, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 19-150.

This Property Contract Sheds New Light on James Smithson's Gift to the Smithsonian

The 1787 Hungerford Deed, donated to the Smithsonian in 2019, offers a glimpse into the family dynamics that shaped the founder's decision

Robert McCurdy, Untitled, Jeffrey P. Bezos, 2019, oil on canvas

Jeff Bezos Gifts Historic $200 Million to the Smithsonian

The Amazon founder's gift—the largest since the Institution was created in 1846—will support the Air and Space Museum renovation and a new education center

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.

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

In the U.S., although Humboldt’s name has vanished, his ideas have not (above: Humboldt in His Library (detail) by Eduard Hildebrandt, 1856).

Who Was Alexander von Humboldt?

Smithsonian curator Eleanor Jones Harvey explains why this revolutionary 19th-century thought leader is due for a reconsideration

Today, the Marsh Collection is treasured for its inherent cultural value as well as its connection to the debates that framed the Smithsonian.

American Culture’s Unlikely Debt to a British Scientist

A fortuitous influx of cash launched the Smithsonian Institution and its earliest art collection

Founder James Smithson (1765-1829) published a paper in search of better way to brew coffee and then considered how his method might work with hops to make beer.

The Founder of the Smithsonian Institution Figured Out How to Brew a Better Cup of Coffee

Almost two hundred years ago, James Smithson devised a method for better brewing. We recreated it.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and the son of a Cuban refugee, was awarded the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal at a U.S. Naturalization Ceremony at the Smithsonian.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Honored at Citizenship Ceremony

The Smithsonian awarded the internet mogul during a ceremony welcoming newly naturalized citizens

Portrait of James Smithson

When Congress Looked James Smithson's Gift Horse in the Mouth

In 1835, the U.S. government debated what to do with the generous bequest coming from across the pond

What was James Smithson Smoking?

Page 1 of 1