If you had asked me to guess the first object I would add to the museum's new philanthropy collection, I never would have said a Virginia...
To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it's more important than we may think. In...
Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio, curator of Latino History and Culture in the Home and Community Life division, and intern Jonathan Borda...

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Editor’s note: This post, written by Ryan Holladay, member of the D.C. music collective Bluebrain, is second in a series about...
From time to time, we ask our blog readers about your preferences and interests so that we can serve you better. If you haven't already...
Back home in Britain, we have a lot of history. I’ve visited the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, and Westminster Abbey, and I’ve grown...
In my previous posts I’ve mentioned how growing up in a Chinese restaurant was a fantastic experience. Let me tell you about one...
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Museum of American History will hold a symposium and cultural festival, ...
In the French Creole language, the song “Alayon bon peyi se Ayiti,” by Haitian composer Moise Abraham, can be translated “So whatever will...
Curators use objects to tell a story about an event, a period of history, a person, a group of people, or a movement. Because we have a...
At lunch a few days ago, I was sitting next to a retired engineer from the U.S. Department of Energy. When I told him about our work at the...
I’ve now made half a dozen visits to Haiti over the past months, putting into place a Smithsonian effort to help Haitians save their...
Photo of World Trade Center towers against a clear morning sky on September 11, 2001. Gift of John Labriola. What I remember about the...
Time magazine cover with text: "AIDS The Growing Threat / What's Being Done"
AIDS - The Growing Threat, What’s Being Done. Time Magazine, Aug. 12, 1985.Editor’s note: The museum is planning a special display of...
Something wonderful is sprouting at the National Museum of American History. This past week I was introduced to the Victory Garden that is...
With today’s classrooms full of digital natives, teachers are considering how to incorporate technology into their classrooms....
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part post. See yesterday's post for the background on this story. The hard science of...
One of the key jobs of the curator is rounding up and analyzing material culture, the objects that we shape and that shape us. Brochures,...
Ever subject to revision and review, history often has a way of catapulting one figure into fame at the expense of another’s descent into...
Every time I consider quitting Facebook, a surprising connection keeps me hanging on. That’s how “Music for The World of Tomorrow” became...
Group of Henson puppets
Just how did an old coat and a ping pong ball contribute to what would become a global phenomenon? Add a whole heap of imagination, more...
Singer/composer Abbey Lincoln drew strength from emancipation–her own and the liberation of others fighting for social justice. When she...
Ah, the joy to be savored in a relaxed, idle summer evening—ice-cold lemonade in hand, the condensation dripping off your glass, fireflies...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Harrow Strickland, a middle school teacher and summer teaching associate at the National Museum...
For a good part of the twentieth century, Harlem’s Apollo Theater was one of the most prestigious, important, and well-known venues for...
Can you believe that chop suey was once the most famous Chinese dish in America? The dish’s popularity helped fuel the growth of Chinese...
Editor's Update: See the February 2011 issue of Prototype to learn more about this topic. One of the best parts about being a...
The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and the museum is joining the celebration by recognizing staff...
I recently attended my first conference of the American Library Association (ALA). The conference was held in Washington, D.C., and we’re...
Is American history dead? Are we on a slippery slope of national amnesia? If you look at data from a recent Marist Poll, you might answer...
An extravagantly appliqued mid-19th century cotton quilt has been placed on exhibit in an artifact wall case on the first floor of the...
They say the devil is in the details and as a student in the Humanities I know all too well how difficult it can be to get those...
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation wants you to know more about our staff! You may have seen them in action in...
Black and white portrait of small girl with large white bow in her hair, holding rolled paper in hand, sitting in wheel chair
By Curator Katherine Ott There are a lot of people in town this week for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Lynn Kessler, a writer and producer at Smithsonian Networks. "Seizing Justice: The...
Roger White is no Indiana Jones, but as an associate curator specializing in automobiles, he has hunted down his fair share of treasures....
Boy Scout scarf in blue and yellow
 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8th, 1910. In celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary, Boy Scouts...
The Smithsonian is big. The National Museum of American History is big. Many of our artifacts, like the John Bull locomotive and the Star–...
Earlier this year we invited Jennifer 8 Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, to meet with our staff and share her insights into...
Why does Silicon Valley continue to flourish and reinvent itself, despite periodic pronouncements of imminent decline or technological...
I am currently working on a book project—The Changing Face of Portrait Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital , due out in March 2011—...
Recently at the museum we were privileged to hear from one of this country’s eminent historians, David Hackett Fischer. As he described his...
Teaching 4th grade has its challenges for a 38 year-old kid. I think I never really left the mind-set of being 10 and that has its upside,...
Editor's Note: The goSmithsonian Trek app was only open through July 24th, 2010, and is no longer available. After completing my first...
You know the nugget of writing wisdom, “Show, don’t tell” ? It can apply to museums, too: live your mission, don’t just talk about it. At...
On June 12, the Colonialists met the Futurists in Flag Hall. Some 24 children from 18 countries joined family members and friends at a...
If you’re at all like me, you like to share your opinions—not just for the thrill of being heard but to change things that seem wrong or...
It's an odd thing to eat an omelet while holding back tears. But that's how I felt prior to the Creativity Round Table, held at...
Black base with Pac-Man logo. On top, large yellow Pac-Man.
A few weeks ago, I discovered, like millions of others, that Google had changed their online logo again to commemorate another special...
As a film archivist at the museum’s Archives Center, I have seen our collections used in many ways. Of course, the most traditional use is...
What causes a hot spot of innovation like Cambridge, Massachusetts, or Silicon Valley to form? There clearly is no magic formula, though...

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