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Note: While history shouldn’t require a spoiler alert, this blog does contain some minor ones regarding the HBO series Watchmen.“You know...
Maybe this painting looks familiar. A long row of red-coated soldiers. A cloud of gun smoke engulfing the street. Falling bodies.Detail of...
The Stonewall uprising began June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid at The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, and has since...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

An experimental telegraph, a unique device used to spread seeds, an object named the "Greffuhle,” a list of all the places where one...
As a member of the Military History Collections Project team, I research the official collection records of the museum for...
Editor's note: This blog is the fourth in a series of posts about the Jefferson bible conservation project.It is difficult to describe how...
Why is there a tiger instead of a manatee on my cereal box? And why is cereal sold in a box at all? In what ways does packaging affect the...
Frank Kameny, who died yesterday, was one of those Americans whom few people have heard of but who spent his time on the planet making the...
Yesterday, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, passed away at age 56 after a seven year battle with pancreatic cancer. This collection of...
During the 1970s the museum purchased a small collection of printing blocks purported to have been used to produce Civil War issues of...
We are just at the beginning of several years of marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War; and we’ve still got a long way to go...
As the curator for the museum’s collection of ceramics and glass, I’m responsible for tens of thousands of fragile artifacts...
In the year since the beginning of the Military History Collections Inventory project, other  members of the team ...
This wood laminate skateboard displays Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse logo graphic designed by Vernon Cortlandt Johnson and was used by Tony Hawk in competitions during the mid-1980s.
Innovation and inventiveness have been central to skateboarding since the earliest days of the sport. As Tony Hawk told ESPN...
September brings the start of another school year, and for most major American universities, that means another season of college football...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by the producer/director of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary, 9/11: Stories in Fragments. The...
Khaki uniform, shoes, and hat
In the spring of 1998, I joined the National Museum of American History as a curator of Armed Forces History. Shortly after I arrived, my...
Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to one published earlier this week featuring a video of a mysterious pair of Battlestar Galactica...
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss this video of museum technician Drew Robarge examining a mysterious pair of eyeglasses for clues about their...
On September 10, 2001, I flew non-stop from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, to attend a photography seminar at the Getty Museum. It never...
The Scurlock Studio was a photographic business operated by an African American family in Washington, D.C., from 1911 to 1994....
My colleague Diane Wendt’s excellent work on a Civil War nurse reminded me that the museum has a closely related object—a Civil...
Photograph of miners posing around dynamo, around 1884
As a collection manager at the National Museum of American History, I often have access to things no one else gets to see, including the...
Detail of Bible text
Editor's note: This blog is the third in a series of posts about the Jefferson Bible conservation project.The Life and Morals of Jesus...
Good comedians make being funny seem effortless. But like any craft, comedy must be honed through relentless practice, organization, and...
David Allison’s recent blog post explaining the upcoming commemoration ends with the question, “How did September 11 change...
For most of us, September 11 is only a media event, lived vicariously through commentaries of journalists and designated “experts” who...
Many Americans remember Tuesday, September 11, 2001 as horrific. Nearly 3,000 people died, others were injured, and many had to run for their lives. Most Americans, however, experienced September 11 from a safe distance. Even for those (like me) who were not directly touched by death or injury, the trauma was significant.
Editor’s note; This post is one of a series exploring the 10th anniversary of September 11.Many Americans remember Tuesday, September 11,...
As longtime players in the entertainment business and the two masterminds behind the critically acclaimed television series Rescue Me,...
Louisa May Alcott. Courtesy of National Library of Medicine. “As no two persons see the same thing with the same eyes, my view of hospital...
King Dragon menu, New York, NY, 1976. I recently delved into the museum’s newly acquired menu collection. My focus was a sub-set of the...
With over 3 million objects in our vast collections, the museum is only able to exhibit a fraction at any given time. Last week, a group...
Quilt spread out with many people looking at it, some kneeling
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in a series exploring the 30th anniversary of HIV and AIDS. Beginning on June 3, the National Museum...
Editor’s Note: Today's post is the last in a series about the museum's work in Julia Child’s kitchen. Caitlin Dichter is a Museum Studies...
When you work in a room with over 10,000 firearms and weapons every day, people will inevitably ask, "Which is your favorite gun?...
Lace veil on black background
This spectacular veil was handmade for Princess Stéphanie of Belgium for her wedding to Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Rudolf in 1881. It...
Lester R. Brown is the president of the Earth Policy Institute.Lester R. Brown is one of the few authors laying claim to an entire shelf...
Spatulas, used by Julia Child, in her kitchen exhibit
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the fifth in a series of six about the museum’s work in Julia Child’s kitchen. Lauren Anderson is a Museum...
AIDS Awareness trading cards
Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a series exploring the 30th anniversary of HIV and AIDS. Check out the companion website.Trading...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the fourth in a series of six about the museum’s work in Julia Child’s kitchen. Anneliese Bustillo is a...
It’s wedding season! With the recent royal wedding and my own daughter finalizing plans for her summer wedding, I’ve been asked by several...
Black and white photo of four people (three men in military uniforms) standing with a dog that wears a harness.
Stubby the dog, known to many as “Sgt. Stubby”, is one of my favorite artifacts in the Armed Forces History collections. He was the mascot...
This summer will mark 30 years since the first official reports of HIV and AIDS. It was not called that back then, of course...
Recent visitors to the Bon Appétit! exhibition have observed the first steps of a major change planned for the display of Julia Child’s...
The museum recently received an exciting addition to its archival collections: 4,500 menus from restaurants across the United States and...
Editor's Note: This post is the third in a series about the museum's Military History Collections Project.Think about some of the items...
Colorful prosthetic foot with green swirls and a gecko image
Editor's Note: This post is part of a series to accompany Inventive Voices podcasts from the Lemelson Center for the Study of...
Editor's note: This blog is the second in a series of posts about the Jefferson Bible conservation project.How does knowing how...
“Where do you keep the tiara?” This was one of the first questions I was asked when I started work on the Military History Collections...
Mr. Isadore Warshaw began collecting business ephemera in 1928 that would later come to the National Museum of American History under the...
The National Museum of American history boasts what may be the world’s largest and finest collection of historic water meters—108 in all...

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