Dawn Wallace and Richard Barden stood in the museum's objects conservation lab over two shoes. Red. Sequin-covered. Small heels. Petite in...
In my first week as a curator at the National Museum of American History, I made a list of women I wished were present in the museum's...
Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related...

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Last year on this blog, I wrote about the development of Dongtan, China’s planned eco-city near Shanghai. Once billed as the world’s...
Doughboy uniform in khaki and green with helmet and gas mask
As Veterans Day approaches, I have found myself reflecting on the common practice of having grade school students interview veterans for...
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on The Smithsonian Archives’ blog, The Bigger Picture. As many of you may know, a couple...
So much of what I do as a museum educator is about telling stories. For example, I write parent guides to help families read stories...
On a recent trip to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to spend a morning and afternoon in the City of Milwaukee. Now, I’m a regular visitor...
Editor’s note: This post is the third in a series of monthly posts exploring the work of Smithsonian Gardens and...
Many of today’s political candidates harness social media to rally the electorate. But what did politicians do before the advent of...
Hallowe’en is one of America’s most popular holidays, for a variety of reasons. Although it has clear antecedents in the ancient Celtic...
My first job after college was teaching elementary students at a bilingual school in Mexico City. While the majority of our students were...
In black and white photo, a young girl looks at doll house with guidance of an older woman
Meet the Dolls. This miniature family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their 10 children, two visiting grandparents, five servants, and...
You may have seen Lemelson Center docents in action in the lab; now learn how they came to be Smithsonian volunteers. Allow...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at the museum have to do with objects that were once on display but are no longer on...
“Physics is phun!” my high-school physics teacher loved to write, and certainly these Nobel Prize winners would agree. Dr. Andre Geim...
Loyal readers of our blog are surely familiar with the museum's theater programs, especially Join the Student Sit-Ins. This...
Last week on the museum’s Facebook page, we featured a photograph of the National Mall taken from the Washington Monument in 1965. We...
Editor’s note: This post is the second in a series of monthly posts exploring the work of Smithsonian Gardens and...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
“Then in that hour of deliverance and joyful triumph, my heart spoke…” —Francis Scott Key Many visitors have noticed that in our ...
As chronicled in several of our past posts, the National Museum of American History regularly holds naturalization ceremonies in...
Editor’s Note: We encourage teachers to integrate the museum’s online resources into their classroom teaching. Today’s post is written by...
Much of what we do at the museum is for the visitors: exhibits, programs, lectures, and performances. We want our guests to enjoy...
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...

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