Security & Policies


We have implemented security measures to ensure your safety and the safety of the objects contained within our Museum. You’ll be greeted upon entry by one of our security personnel who will conduct a thorough but speedy hand-check of all bags, briefcases, purses, and containers. All visitors are required to walk through a metal detector. Those who are unable to go through the metal detector will be hand-screened with an electronic wand by security personnel.

Prohibited items include sharp items such as knives (including pocket or "Swiss Army"-style knives), screwdrivers, scissors, etc. Other items not permitted include firearms, pepper spray, and Mace.


    •    Photography: The Smithsonian permits still and video photography for noncommercial use only in its museums and exhibitions, unless otherwise posted. Photography is prohibited in the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery. For the safety of our visitors and collections, the use of tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks is not permitted at any time. Working members of the media who need to use a tripod or monopod must obtain permission from the museum’s Public Affairs Office and must be escorted by a Museum staff member while in the building.

Notice: Visitors may be filmed, photographed, or recorded by the Smithsonian for educational and promotional uses, including for posting on the Smithsonian’s and other public websites.

    •    Smoking: Prohibited in all Smithsonian facilities.
    •    Pets: Not permitted in the Museum (except service animals).
    •    Strollers: Permitted in the Museum.
    •    Wheelchairs: Available on a first-come, first-served basis. See also, information for visitors with disabilities.
    •    Bag lunches: No accommodations are available for eating bag lunches within the Museum.
    •    Lockers: The Museum has a limited number of lockers available. There is no other facility for checking bags. Learn more.