A visitor to Kenneth Salisbury's Stanford University office can't miss the evidence of his life-long fascination with hands.Kenneth...
A civil rights protest often invokes the vivid images of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, but the fight for racial equality took many...
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...

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On a typical day here at the museum, it would be hard to describe our “average” visitor. The people flowing through our doors are from all...
You may wonder how a museum that has only been open since 1964 can possibly be celebrating 2,020 years of anything. But when it...
One of the benefits of working in the National Museum of American History is sometimes you run into your own history. The first time I...
The voicemail message from the Daily Programs Coordinator sounded a little stressed: “How can we clean the canton?” Very carefully, I...
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m really excited to see the new movie Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. I love my...
In accepting his appointment as Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu became the first Nobel science laureate to serve in a cabinet position. His...
This year I’ll celebrate twenty years working at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, curating the history of photography...
Spring in Washington, D.C., is famous for its bountiful Japanese cherry blossoms; but one thing you may not know is that in the springtime...
I am relatively new to the museum field, having recently made a career change. I work in the new media program, which is also a new field...
When I was in high school, I competed in what I describe to others as the “Constitutional Law Debate team” in East Brunswick, N.J. The...
Imagine that it’s your first day on the job and your new boss brings you into a storage area. It’s filled with boxes of papers and strange...
In a museum chock-full of 3 million objects, it’s usually the showy ones that get the most attention—the ruby slippers, the Star-...
During my years as collections manager in the Graphic Arts Collection I’ve dusted many a linotype machine, but have never had the...
I look forward to coming to work on Thursdays. One of my responsibilities is to change the featured object that appears on the homepage of...
I learned a lot about World War II from my father, who served in the Philippines. Being from the Motor City and often driving past the...
One of my favorite things in the museum’s Science in American Life exhibition is the “Ecology Now” poster commemorating the...
“Do you have Rebecca’s arrival hanbok?” Noriko Sanefuji stood in my office doorway and smiled. Do I remember what my daughter was wearing...
When I was a teenager, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was one of the few TV shows my family could agree to watch together. Perhaps...
A loyal blog reader recently suggested that we record all of our Meet Our Museum programs for podcasting. It’s a...
I am fundamentally a shy person. As a child, I would hide from my tiny, adorable, very friendly grandmother because the three people in my...
If you’re on Facebook, chances are you were one of the 5 million+ people who shared their oddball habits and remarkable personal...
When you approach the museum’s Stars and Stripes Cafe, you may hear blood-curdling screams. It’s not the food—really! The museum recently...
I had the chocolate symposium (held a few weeks ago at the museum) and Women’s History Month on my mind when I came...
March 28th is the 30th anniversary of America’s worst accident at a civilian nuclear power plant: the melting of half the fuel in one of...
In a memo released by the White House on January 21, President Obama charged government agencies to open up their virtual doors...
Forty-two. That’s the number of babies my mother delivered during her short career as a medical doctor during the 1950s. It was a time when...
Like many of you, I love the idea of inanimate objects having a secret life. The people leave, the lights go out, the door closes and then...
One of my first tasks as a new intern in the photographic history department was to research and write about Stanhopes—what they are, where...
This is an exciting time to be a museum Web practitioner. Since its inception, the Web has been a great way for us and other museums to...
During these seemingly endless, frigid days it is easy to pass by the Victory Garden outside of the museum’s Stars &...
Like millions of people who watched or listened to We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on January...
Inside of Abraham Lincoln's watches reveals both its inner workings and engravings, including ""April 13, 1861 Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon April 13, 1861 Washington" and "thank God we have a government Jonth Dillon."
A hush fell over the room as the watchmaker halted his work. A partially-dismantled pocket watch that once belonged to President Abraham...
Were we to judge by images alone, invention has been a man’s world, and only a man’s world. The title of one of the iconic paintings of...
Last month was exciting for the Photographic History Collection. I participated in the Smithsonian’s first online education...
As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, let’s not forget to honor the contributions that women have made to improving the...
“Tell me what YOU did at the Museum today!”  Every evening, my husband and I exchange information about our activities at our...
How do you make a 600-seat cafe feel like home? You put Dolores Pierre on the floor as an “attendant” and she immediately transforms the...
If you’ve been to the new exhibition First Ladies at the Smithsonian, you may have found yourself asking: Where are all the other...
Do you sing in the shower? I do. And I can tell you that I don’t sound anything like Jennifer Hudson at the Superbowl. But maybe you do. Or...
It recently came to my attention that our museum is included, under a vaguely masked name, in the video game Fallout 3. The game is set in...
With all the recent news coverage, pretty much everyone knows that today is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. As you would...
Being nosy makes me better at my job. I’m not talking about being a snoop or the office gossip. I’m talking about turning my curious nature...
Recently I took part in a “Smithsonian 2.0” conference about the future of the Smithsonian’s digital presence. In attendance were many of...
I can’t wait to see what Barack Obama does to fulfill his campaign pledge to spur innovation and improve American competitiveness in...
2008 was a banner year for the museum. Literally. The creation of a new permanent home for the Star-Spangled Banner—the flag that inspired...
My alarm woke me up early on Inauguration Day, and like many others in Washington I padded down the hall and made my way downstairs for...
Wow. On Inauguration Day they came to Washington to witness history being made, and we thought we’d planned it all. We knew that Tuesday’s...
With millions of people on the National Mall to watch the presidential inauguration ceremonies, it’s perhaps no surprise that the museum...

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