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.

Black Sailor
Collections

Start here to browse or search the Museums artifacts.

Publications

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

Carl Lewis (Cropped)
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

Tawny Owl in the Snow

Tawny Owl hunting for prey, during the February snow fall, on the edge of a wood, East Yorkshire, UK. What looks like stars in the sky are snowflakes captured by the camera flash.

Climbing Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier, or, as its known in local Māori legends, Kā Roimata ō Hine Hukatere (the frozen tears of Hine Hukatere). From its origins high in the Southern Alps, the Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimtata ō Hine Hukatere) descends into the lush native rainforest of Westland's National Park. This

Childhood Memories

Childhood memories in my hometown just come back when i took this photo of little boy with his puppy inside the lemon yard. It reminds me the hard life of my family when my Mother also had to harvest coco from areas in the countryside, then at that time i also played alone inside cocos as same as th

Dry Potato Flour

Drying of flour in the village of Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The couple has been doing this job for over 20 years. On average, they dried more than 3000 sweet potato chips a day. Potato flour after drying will be packaged and sold to various bakeries.

Reindeer enjoying its lunch in Tromso region, Northern Norway

As a part of the Photography Tours that I organise In Northern Norway we visit Sami people (also known as Lapps or Lapplanders, indigenous people of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Murmansk Oblast of Russia). Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Curren

Night Ghost

Many nights waiting for this moment. This bat was visiting my friends backyard in Costa Rica every night, but I needed to know the exact spot were it should pass in order to get this picture.

The Triangle of Life

Shiva Gajan is a unique Hindu folk festival mainly observed in different parts of West Bengal, India. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva tied the knot with Goddess Harakali. Hindus celebrate this festival on the last week of the Bengali month ‘Chaitra’ (tentatively 2nd week of April), just b

An American Legacy

Daughter of SPC Christopher M. Harris, KIA August 2, 2017, held lovingly in her mother's arms & supported by members of the 82nd Airborne. A stark reminder that freedom is not free. A promise made to the widow of an American hero to help tell his story & honor his legacy.

The Sulfur Collector

The sulfur collectors of the Ijen volcano, located in East Java, Indonesia, work among toxic gases to collect sulfur, earning only $5 per day.

The Impassable

Ófærufoss waterfall (about 120-150m in height) is on the river Nyðri-Ófæra river (“the impassable northern river”) which flows into the great fissure Eldgjá, or Canyon of Fire.

Cages for lobster at sea

Cages of lobster in Phu Yen, Vietnam. Lobster farming highly profitable for the people here. But the annual storm also potential risks, these are the new cages that replaced the old cages washed away last year

Spring in Yellowstone

The Lince was sitting on a branch of a tree. I had my binoculars with me looking for Owls and I spotted him looking at me. I was able to get closer and capture some really good images.

In the daisy garden

The farmer was taking care of her family daisy garden, preparing to sell to market in the occasion of lunar new year in Vietnam

In the Melaleuca Forest

The woman was collecting water-chestnut in the melaleuca forest in Mekong delta, Vietnam, in high tide season. High tide season in south west of Vietnam last from Sept to Dec yearly.

Burden salt harvest

The workers are carrying salt to the warehouse. They start work from 3 am to 7 am and remake from 1 pm to 6 pm every day. Hon Khoi salt field is the largest salt field in Vietnam.

Pulikali

Pulikali (Tiger Dance) is among the most famous folk artforms in Kerala. On the fourth day of the harvest festival of Onam, in Thrissur district artists paint their bodies like tigers with stripes of yellow, red and black, and dance to the rhythm of traditional percussion instruments such as thakil,

Sheerer and Sheep

Part of the series "Honest Agriculture" this photograph documents the working lives of farmers and workers in the surrounding valley where my own family farm resides, In this shot we see a sheerer in a barn holding a ewe before he starts to remove her fleece.

Just Fly

A series of abstract minimalist landscapes about a form in the nature and their communication with people

The Wall of Death

Motorbike symbolizes the speed & motion. Here 3 motor bikers performing their action with in a wall of death at Sonepur cattle fair, Bihar, India.

Hope for New Vision

A group of elderly women back from an eye operation camp are waiting for their eye bandages to remove. A women who has her eye operated earlier is giving them a word of encouragement.

Sharpnose puffer in shell

When people talk about colors, they take it for granted because they see them at all times. For us divers is completely different first we have to understand that color depends on light and without this it would be impossible to see these beautiful colors that we can see in these underwater landscap

Walking Out of a Country Store

A hunter walks out of a country store to grab some food for his lunch. This rural area is full of wild game animals, but as seen by its gas pumps, is a little bit behind the times.

Kayak Lagoon

In downtown Dubrovnik, Croatia, take the time and make sure you choose a kayak tour to take in the city from sea's perspective.

Innocence

This pic is of a child of sand worker paying on the river bank. I have tried to capture a candid moment where a child was playing and its parents were working behind giving an idea of environment.

One to One With Planet Earth

There are some places on our planet where you can be very close face to face to its soul, beauty and power. This is one of them - the geothermal area in the Icelandic highlands. An absolutely amazing place - Hveradalir, Kerlingarfjöll

Behind the Curtain

A Chinese Opera Artist making herself up before her performances during the Chinese 7th Lunar Month, when the souls of the deceased are released from the Gates of Hell, according to Chinese custom.

Colorful Drive

There are numerous bridges over these colorful and picturesque marshlands, Spain. Aerial image (photographed from a plane).

Women Power at Brick Kiln

I have tried to show the excellent team work of a women team working at the brick kiln where they were transferring bricks from the kiln area to the truck standing near by. I have not used any photography technical to capture this natural moment.

Young Hamer Warrior

On the day of his best friend's coming-of-age ceremony, this young warrior was, in the midst of all the hectic preparations and celebrations, a very sensitive and strong figure of calm and poise.

London

A haze covers London during golden hour one January day. The tall building on the left is known as The Shard. At 95 stories high, it's the tallest building in the United Kingdom.

Drifting Snow

The picture was taken in the Tazheranskaya steppe near Baikal. In March, a strong wind can blow and raise a snow drizzle.

Breakwater

Livorno's harbor, usually busy with cruise and cargo ships, becomes quietly magical as the sun sets

Petrochemical

High angle shot of petrochemical storage tanks at Coode Island in Melbourne. I really loved the repetition and the difference in size between the tanks.

Jallikattu

Jallikattu, is a traditional spectacle in which a Bos indicus bull, such as the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds is released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to grab.