Social Science Learning Portal

The newest Smithsonian museum opened September 24, 2016, near the Washington Monument, and has welcomed more than 1 million visitors to date. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history, and culture.

It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members.

This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans. Lonnie Bunch III, Founding Director

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Many Lenses

Three museums, six objects, many lenses.

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Collections

Start here to browse or search the Museums artifacts.

Publications

Publications by the museum are highlighted here (for purchase).

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Stories

Interesting African American lives.

The National Museum of African Art is the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation, and study of the arts of Africa. On exhibit are the finest examples of traditional and contemporary art from the entire continent of Africa.

National Museum of African Art

Collection

Search by artist or object, browse highlighted themes or exhibitions within our collection, or create your own list to share.

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives

A research and reference center with over 300,000 still photographic images documenting the arts, peoples and history of Africa over the past 120 years. Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973) was an internationally known photographer and filmmaker. He created an enduring visual record of African life from 1947 to 1973. Mr. Elisofon bequeathed to the museum his African materials, which included more than 50,00...

Launch into the history of flight by surrounding yourself with icons of air and space travel. The flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, contains twenty-three galleries exhibiting hundreds of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and other flight-related artifacts. The museum has a planetarium and an IMAX theater for out-of-this-world escapes. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, Virginia, houses many more artifacts in an open, hangar-like setting, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and space shuttle Discovery.

National Air and Space Museum

Challenger 04/1983
Air and Space Museum Collections

Air and Space Museum Collections

Photo Archives

The Air and Space Museum Archives holds three million images in various photographic formats. These collections cover the breadth and depth of the history of aviation and space flight.

Collections

The National Air and Space Museum holds in trust over 60,000 artifacts and more than 20,000 cubic feet of archival materials. Historic aircraft and space artifacts, such as the 1903 Wright Flyer and theApollo 11 Command Module Columbia, highlight the National Collection. Thousands of additional artifacts—including engines, rockets, uniforms, spacesuits, balloons, artwork, documents, manuscripts, a...

National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the museum in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of historically significant air- and spacecraft, along with thousands of small artifacts, are on display in an open, hangar-like setting.

The nation’s first collection of American art offers an unparalleled record of the American experience, capturing the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries. The museum is home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world, including works by such stylistically diverse luminaries as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe, housed in one of the oldest public buildings constructed in early Washington.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Renwick Gallery

Branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum dedicated to exhibiting American contemporary craft, celebrating makers taking both innovative and time-honored approaches to their work. The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. This National Historic Landmark was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1858 and was the first building in...

Devoted to the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States, the museum traces the American experience from colonial times to the present. The American History Museum’s collection contains more than three million historical objects—including the famed Star-Spangled Banner—and documents that explore the evolution of the American identity.

National Museum of American History

Collections

The Museum has more than 3 million artifacts in its collection. Information and photos of selected objects are available in the online collections database. The database is a work-in-progress and new items will be added regularly. Museum collections reflect the breadth, depth, and complexity of the experiences of the American people, from social and cultural history to the history of science, m...

The National Museum of the American Indian cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.

National Museum of the American Indian

NMAI: George Gustav Heye Center (NYC)

Sitting at the foot of the Wiechquaekeck Trail, an old Algonquin trade route (aka Broadway), the American Indian Museum’s New York location shares the Washington, D.C. location’s incredible collection and its commitment to celebrating the diverse history and contemporary voices of Native peoples throughout the western hemisphere.

Collections

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world—approximately 266,000 catalog records (825,000 items) representing over 12,000 years of history and more than 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americas.

Located in the Anacostia neighborhood, this museum examines, documents, and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on urban communities.

Anacostia Community Museum

Collections

The Anacostia Community Museum collects artifacts, works of art, photographs, documents and paper records, audiovisual media, and other materials that help us understand how communities work. Collections development efforts focus on materials that document the history and everyday life of urban communities and neighborhoods in the United States and the world. ACM collections support the museum's i...

Exhibitions

Anacostia Community Museum exhibitions focus on a range of topics and issues facing urban communities today. Exhibitions invite and motivate visitors to bring their diverse knowledge, experiences, and resources to the viewing experience. The creative use of museum collections, exhibit design, and innovative interpretive methods acknowledges audience diversity and encourages visitors to think criti...

With over 16 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives of American Art is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America. The Archives of American Art’s primary exhibition space, the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery, can be found on the first floor of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood—also home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

The world's most popular natural history museum is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it. Delve into the fascinating story of our planet, from its fiery beginnings through billions of years of transformation, and explore life on Earth through exhibitions and activities, collection objects and research that happens in the lab and in the field. The museum is larger than 18 football fields and is home to the largest natural history collection in the world.

With the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery introduces you to the people who have shaped the country—poets, presidents, actors, activists, visionaries, villains...and everyone in between. Its collection weaves together story and biography from precolonial times to the present to tell the American story.

Arts and Industries Building

The Arts and Industries Building has a special role among Smithsonian buildings as the first United States National Museum opened in 1881. After being closed for nearly 12 years, the Arts and Industries Building reopened for special events fall of 2015 and has hosted several activities, including the 2016 Folklife Festival Marketplace and the Asian Pacific American Center’s “Crosslines Culture Lab.” Plans are being developed for the next chapter of this amazing building.

Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)

Completed in 1855, the Castle is our signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center. As such, it makes a great starting point for your journey—here you can get a grasp of the scope and scale of the Smithsonian, see collections highlights from each of our museums, tour the Castle’s 19th-century architecture, see what’s going on today at all the museums, and consult with our in-house experts about what to see and do.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hirshhorn features international modern and contemporary art in the celebrated Gordon Bunshaft designed cylindrical building, adjoining plaza, and sunken sculpture garden. The museum is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time.

Smithsonian Gardens

The many gardens that surround the Smithsonian museums are a “museum without walls.” All have been designed to complement the museums they border and to enhance the overall museum experience of learning, appreciation, and enjoyment.

Other Smithsonian Museum Sites

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt is the nation’s only museum dedicated to historic and contemporary design, with a collection of over 210,000 design objects spanning thirty centuries. Located in the landmark Andrew Carnegie mansion and boasting a beautiful public garden, Cooper Hewitt makes design come alive with unique temporary exhibitions and installations of the permanent collection.

National Zoo

Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is currently home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species.

Freer Gallery of Art

The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Freer Gallery houses one of the premier collections of Asian art, with objects dating from Neolithic times to the early 20th century, as well as the world's most important collection of works by James McNeill Whistler.

National Postal Museum

Located in the historic D.C. City Post Office next to the restored Union Station, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum showcases the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world—including postal stationery, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes, meters, cards and letters, and postal materials that predate the use of stamps. Visitors can walk along a Colonial post road, ride with the mail in a stagecoach, browse through a small town post office from the 1920s, receive free stamps to start a collection and more.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Entered from a copper domed kiosk on Jefferson Drive between the "Castle" and the Freer Gallery of Art, the S. Dillon Ripley Center houses the Smithsonian Associates, the Discovery Theater, and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Sackler Gallery features both permanent and temporary exhibitions from ancient times to the present. The museum is home to an incomparable collection of art, including some of the most important ancient Chinese jades and bronzes in the world. In addition to the exhibitions on display, the galleries feature innovative programming for visitors of all ages, such as lectures, concerts, films, and podcasts that enhance and extend the visit.

Smithsonian Collections

Collections

The Anacostia Community Museum collects artifacts, works of art, photographs, documents and paper records, audiovisual media, and other materials that help us understand how communities work. Collections development efforts focus on materials that document the history and everyday life of urban comm

Smithsonian Archives

Search the Smithsonian Institution Archives’ collections, which contain the official records of the Smithsonian, as well as personal papers, special collections, records of professional societies, and oral/video histories relating to the history of the Smithsonian. Not sure where to start? See our t

Photo Archives

The Air and Space Museum Archives holds three million images in various photographic formats. These collections cover the breadth and depth of the history of aviation and space flight.

Collections

The National Air and Space Museum holds in trust over 60,000 artifacts and more than 20,000 cubic feet of archival materials. Historic aircraft and space artifacts, such as the 1903 Wright Flyer and theApollo 11 Command Module Columbia, highlight the National Collection. Thousands of additional arti

National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the museum in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of historically significant air- and spacecraft, along with thousands of small artifacts, are on display in an open, hangar-like setting.

Collections

The Museum has more than 3 million artifacts in its collection. Information and photos of selected objects are available in the online collections database. The database is a work-in-progress and new items will be added regularly. Museum collections reflect the breadth, depth, and complexity of t

United We Stand, July 1942

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY presents this exhibition to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the United We Stand campaign. We hope you enjoy touring the virtual exhibit, and we also invite you to visit the Museum, where nearly one hundred original flag covers will be on view from March 22 to

Star Spangled Banner

On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United Sta

Renwick Gallery

Branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum dedicated to exhibiting American contemporary craft, celebrating makers taking both innovative and time-honored approaches to their work. The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. This National

1846: Portrait of a Nation

On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was passed by Congress and immediately signed into law by President James K. Polk. In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of that event, this exhibition looks back at the America of 1846.

NMAI: George Gustav Heye Center (NYC)

Sitting at the foot of the Wiechquaekeck Trail, an old Algonquin trade route (aka Broadway), the American Indian Museum’s New York location shares the Washington, D.C. location’s incredible collection and its commitment to celebrating the diverse history and contemporary voices of Native peoples thr

Collection

Search by artist or object, browse highlighted themes or exhibitions within our collection, or create your own list to share.

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives

A research and reference center with over 300,000 still photographic images documenting the arts, peoples and history of Africa over the past 120 years. Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973) was an internationally known photographer and filmmaker. He created an enduring visual record of African life from 1947

Collections

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world—approximately 266,000 catalog records (825,000 items) representing over 12,000 years of history and more than 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americ

SNAPSHOTS of LIFE: Smithsonian Photos

Internetization

Currently In Cuba, all internet services are controlled by the state-owned telecoms company Etecsa, and internet access in private houses is practically inaccessible. Recently however, the situation has begun to change, with wifi hotspots popping up across Cubas major cities, Cubans finally are begi

Time Flies

During a safari in tanzania , we spotted a tree with at least dozen of lions on it , most of them were resting or sleeping . i found this tree trunk with one lion that was trying to catch some shade , it was in the hottest hours of the day , the flies were around him and i captured his glance at t

People. Faces. North Korea

Joseon – this is the name of the country by the inhabitants themselves. In translation it means «Country of morning freshness». Outside its borders, it is known as North Korea. Complicated, contradictory, enveloped in myths and legends in media publications. The only country on the planet in which t

USS Emmons

Her name is USS Emmons. It was a destroyer during the Second World War. She is now asleep in the deep sea of ​​Okinawa. Sleeping at a depth of 45 meters, she still remains in its former shape after 80 years.

Look at Me

This photo was taken at Ishigaki island in Japan in June of this year. The seawater temperature fell, the debilitating sea anemone recovered and returned to its original color. A small anemone fish came out from the gap and said "Look at me."

Tree of Life

Tree of Life is a photographic aerial abstraction of the majestic and visceral Shark Bay landscape. A large estuary takes a tree-like form during low tide.

Greenland Dog laying in the snow drift as the sun rises

I was on an extreme expedition with my brother and daughter in East Greenland; where our mission was to document the natural history - with dogs-sleds as our only means of transport. We joined two locals of the village Ittoqqortoormiit on their hunting journey to Jameson Land and down the coast sear

The Queen of the Indian Ocean

Hanifaru bay, sunset time. Manta come in the bay during high tides to feed on copepods. This picture was taken during a beautiful sunset, giving a stunning color on the manta.

King Louie

Seeing orangutans was high on our bucket list so we traveled to Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia and hired a guide to take us into the jungle. A few ours into the trek and after having seen a few of these mighty creatures from far away, our guide got a message that a big male had been spotted clos

A Former Child Soldier Is Released From the Army

A former child soldier is released in Yambio, South Sudan as part of a joint initiative to return children to their families. About 300 children were released; but it is estimated that over 19,000 children have been recruited into the armed forces during South Sudan's brutal civil war that started i

Mother Polar Bear Nursing Her Cub

I was on an extreme expedition with my brother and daughter in East Greenland where our mission was to document the natural history with dog sleds as our only means of transport. We joined two locals, Izak and Age, from Ittoqqortoormiit on their journey to Jameson Land. Earlier this morning, the win

Lava Tentacles

Awesome lava formations next to the massive Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley, California. The age of the crater is estimated from 2,000 to 7,000 years old. Aerial image (photographed from a plane).

Leather Controller

History of Partizanske, Slovakia, and its surroundings is closely attached to shoe making industry, which was brought here by famous Tomas Bata. Today, very few people outside of the region know that even though most of the production ceased years ago, there are still some companies producing shoes.

Reflection

Animal: Florida Manatee Location: Florida, United States of America Feel the clarity of diving into Florida's cool spring water with Florida Manatees as you peer into this image. Florida might be known for its warm weather and sunny beaches during the summer, but the winter temperature chills the

Untitled

This is Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Late in the afternoon I saw this man (a musician) taking his instrument from the car. He smiled to me and opened the car and in the same time I saw the light on him and the reflection.

King of the Forest

Animal: Alaskan Moose Location: Alaska, United States of America Take a rare up-close glimpse into the eyes of a colossal Alaskan Bull Moose navigating through an Alaskan forest. As the seasons change, and fall arrives, Moose shed their velvet and reveal their massive racks grater than five feet l

Chaos

Colors and textures of chaos at Corabastos, Bogota´s main produce market. Since very early morning, way before sunrise, colorful trucks, fruits, vegetables and of course people take the scene, creating incredible scenes of a contained chaos.

Jack Tower

We can encounter big Jackfish school at sea of Aguni Island in spring. The school of Jack fish changes into various forms.

Exploring Death Valley

Death Valley's dunes are beautiful and spectacular to explore. Here, you see two brave souls walking on the edge of these massive mountains of sand. Death Valley National Park, California. Aerial Image.

Through the Grass

It was a sunny day, maybe too sunny! I had to wait for the sun to come down in order to get the portrait had in mind.. After a few hours finally, in this remote location of England, the most amazing thing happened. A puffin with its beak fully booked landed in front of me.

Endless Seaweed Farm

A man at work in a very large seaweed farm in Xiapu, Fujian Province in China. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Seaweed farming has grown rapidly in recent years and has become a pillar industry of the local marine economy in Xiapu.

Moises

Moisés es un inmigrante venezolano, la crisis lo ha traído a Argentina. lo positivo de este desarraigo es su libertad.

Sharpening the Stainless Steel Pipes

One worker was sharping the stainless steel pipes which considers as the connection steel pipes to use for the industrial drainage systems. This handmade workshop is one popular private business enterprise in Vietnam where many young workers can earn a living at home by his own skills.

Lobster Cages

Thousands of lobster cages hang together in Nhon Hoi hamlet, Phu Yen province, Vietnam. These cages are connected to the buoy with rope. With bird-eyes view, it looks like the spider’s web.

Fisherman

Fishing with a huge fishing net is traditional of fishermen in estuaries and low water areas throughout Vietnam. After lowering the net for several hours, fisherman lifts it up and sails a small boat underneath the net, open a small hole in the net to collect fishery products. The most convenient ti

Magic Moments

Bubbles are floating in the air. I saw that a magic moment could pass with an interesting juxtaposition.