Empowering people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past.
The National Museum of American History serves as the custodian of our national treasures and is honored to hold the public’s trust. At the heart of the museum are the dedicated professionals who care for its audiences, collections, resources, messages, buildings, and scholarship—all in service to the people of the United States. At our nearly 800,000-square-foot home on the National Mall and through our numerous online channels, the museum welcomes millions of people every year from across the country and around the world, free of charge. We are also part of a greater whole and are honored to benefit from the passion, advice, and support of our National Board and thousands of generous donors and volunteers.
As the nation’s history museum, we challenge ourselves to become the country’s most accessible, inclusive, relevant, and sustainable public history institution.
We cherish our unique role as the only museum in the country dedicated to telling the full history of the United States. Knowledge of the past is not a luxury—it is vital for civic health. Learning history helps people understand that today’s world is not inevitable, but the result of myriad choices and actions made by individuals and communities. With this knowledge, they can take more informed, just, and compassionate actions to forge a shared future. The National Museum of American History is a forum where people engage with one another and with stories of United States history that will challenge and inspire them. In our galleries and online, we have connected generations of Americans to deeply researched history through an exceptionally broad range of primary sources and material culture. We hope our visitors, engaging with these resources, will be moved by the past; that they will share, debate, and learn history to make sense of the contemporary world, so that together we can create a better future.