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. We have more than 1.3 million objects and 22,000 linear feet of archival documents in our collection.


Search Tips

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

  • Our database is a work in progress. We are constantly conducting research, acquiring new objects and documents, and adding more context to our records. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.
  • 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 of our collection is not on public display. Only a small percentage of our collection 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.