Smithsonian

Flight attendant Lorraine Bay carefully recorded every flight she worked in this log book, found near the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11

Thirty-One Smithsonian Artifacts That Tell the Story of 9/11

From a Pentagon rescuer's uniform to a Flight 93 crew log, these objects commemorate the 20th anniversary of a national tragedy

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

Inventive and egalitarian, the Arts and Industries Building is due to open in November after being closed for nearly two decades.

Smithsonian 175

The Storied Past and Inspiring Future of the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

It was once the Institution's most forward-looking museum. Soon it will be again

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Smithsonian 175

Institutional Memories: 175 Years of the Smithsonian

Get to know the history of the cherished museum and research complex

Two American bison grazed in a paddock behind the Castle. A few years later, in 1891, they joined the first animals at the new National Zoo.

Smithsonian 175

Secretary Lonnie Bunch Reflects on the Smithsonian's 175th Birthday

The Institution's leader looks back on a vibrant history—and ahead to the next two museums

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

Michael Collins' NASA astronaut portrait.

Smithsonian Voices

Remembering Michael Collins

As the third director of the National Air and Space Museum, the former astronaut campaigned for a museum on the Mall in time for the nation’s bicentennial

Beginning next month, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person.When the Zoo opens on May 21, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person. But fair warning—he might be napping.

Smithsonian Announces the Zoo and Seven Museums Open in May

You'll finally be able to see the baby panda in person; here's our comprehensive list of what's on view and tips for visiting

In “Deep Time,” curators used each fossil, including the sea scorpion Eurypterus lacustris, to weave a detailed timeline of Earth’s history.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on What Makes for a Great Museum Exhibition

A well-curated show makes the unknown feel familiar—and reveals the unexpected

In makeshift home laboratories, a team of scientists discovered that cotton flannel is the optimal fabric, and their latest study says that the moisture from our breath makes the mask more effective.

How to Build a Better Homemade Face Mask, According to Science

When Covid-19 hit, Smithsonian researchers set up makeshift home laboratories to conduct groundbreaking studies on mask fabric materials

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji experiences snow for the first time just beyond his indoor exhibit on Sunday. Though he did not venture further, his parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian played around outside.

Watch Giant Pandas and Other Zoo Animals Frolic in the Snow

The weekend's winter snowfall in Washington, D.C. delighted the giant pandas, red pandas, Andean bears and other critters at the National Zoo

“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

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Smithsonian Voices

Why the Smithsonian Is Encouraging Americans to Talk More Openly About Race

In a year marked by calls to reckon with America’s racial past, the Smithsonian is taking a big step toward helping the nation heal

For 12 days from October 13 to 25, the works of selected contemporary crafters (above: Lady Liberty by Patti Warashina) will be on sale through the Bidsquare.com platform.

Artisan America

For This Year's Crop of Smithsonian Craft Show Artists, the Pandemic Changes Everything

Ceramicist Patti Warashina, the winner of the show’s prestigious Visionary Award, reflects on how her artwork reveals the surreal of these times

After George Floyd’s death, Jason Allende, 13, and his family joined protesters in Junction City, Kansas, on May 29, 2020.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch: Learning From Americans' Past Ordeals

Looking to history can help find healing and hope

Protesters hold signs during a demonstration in a call for justice for George Floyd, who was killed while in custody of the Minneapolis police.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch: It Is Time for America to Confront Its Tortured Racial Past

This moment, says the Smithsonian secretary, should be the 'impetus for our nation to address racism and social inequities in earnest'

"Project Pride," a virtual concert and “time capsule,” will celebrate LGBTQ history, heritage and culture through musical performances, conversations and highlights from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections.

How to Watch the Smithsonian Pride Alliance's Free Virtual Concert

Catch "Project Pride," featuring performances by Tig Notaro, Rufus Wainwright and Big Freedia, on YouTube this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern time

Larry Kramer by Robert Giard, gelatin silver print, 1989

Playwright and AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Dies at 84

The American writer and public health advocate was "a lionhearted force," says Smithsonian curator Katherine Ott

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Virtual Travel

Explore Washington, D.C. From Home With This Free, Smithsonian Scholar-Led Tour

Narrated by Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Richard Kurin, the 24-part video series blends history with modern mainstays

3-D model of Head of Amenhotep III on Sketchfab

Education During Coronavirus

You Can Now Download 1,700 Free 3-D Cultural Heritage Models

A new Sketchfab collection brings models of fossils, artwork and more into the public domain