Collections

The National Museum of American History collects artifacts of all kinds—from gowns to locomotives—to preserve for the American people an enduring record of their past. The Museum has more than 1.8 million objects in its collection and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections.

Search Collections

Search Tips

As you use the collections database, please keep in mind the following:

  • The database is not comprehensive. Not all objects in the collection are available on the website. We are working to expand and improve online access to the collections.
  • The search includes material from multiple sources.  A search returns items held in the Museum's curatorial divisions, Archives Center, and Libraries. Filter controls in the right column allow you to limit your search by data source or other criteria. Click the "Results from All Smithsonian Collections" tab to see objects housed at other Smithsonian museums, archives, and libraries.
  • Most collections are not on public display. Only a small percentage of the Museum's collections is displayed at any given time. Some records will indicate if an object is on display, but the status is subject to change and online information may not be current.