The museum will be open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 25. Reserve your free timed-entry pass and review our latest visitor safety guidelines.
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"

The National Museum of American history boasts what may be the world’s largest and finest collection of historic water meters—108 in all...
Close-up photo of fabric texture
Editor’s Note: This is the third and final post in the series on “Brother Washington’s apron – a Masonic mystery.” See Part 1 and Part 2...
As a part of a project for an exhibition about the Civil War titled “So Much Need of Service”: The Diary of a Civil War Nurse, I had the...
The great James Moody passed away on December 9, 2010. Today, Saturday, March 26, would have been his 86th birthday. In the jazz community...
Storage at a museum is not a new problem. You collect stuff, and you have to find a place for it. Everyone knows how that works in their...
Color photo of apron with symbols on it, including hour glass and columns
Late last year, I was speaking with a curator for a museum of Masonic history and our conversation turned to America’s most famous...
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of posts about critical conservation work being conducted on the Jefferson Bible, a treasured...
Most history museums face the challenge of bringing objects to life. Most of our artifacts weren’t made just to be on exhibit. People of...
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.Occasionally the routine of museum work...
On February 15, President Obama honored 15 individuals with the Medal of Freedom. The award is the nation’s highest civilian...
Map
William Steinway, 1882. Photograph by Carl Borntraeger, Wiesbaden, Germany. Courtesy of Henry Z. Steinway Archive.Editor’s note: In...
Photo of fabric apron with textured fabric around edges and scene in center with elaborate architectural design
Many of us have the Antiques Roadshow fantasy. You know the one. Some object or work of art, inherited or bought on the cheap (then...
Last month we asked you to vote on which historic car you’d most like to see on temporary display, and after 24,000 votes, the 1929 Miller...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the first in a new series that will profile some of the museum’s generous donors.Each Veterans Day, the...
The 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition was an international fair held to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal...
Legend has it that that Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” The...
Editor’s note: This essay by guest blogger and maker Allison Thurman is adapted with permission from the Center for the Future of...
We asked you to vote for your favorite of 8 automotive jewels in the Smithsonian car collection, covering 120 years of history . . . and...
Dr. William Taylor, Jr., known as Billy, was an educator, composer, actor, jazz pianist, and elder statesman. He was a cultural advocate...
Richard Avedon photographed president-elect John F. Kennedy and his family fifty years ago on January 3, 1961. The Museum has just opened...
Phew! That’s all I can say about compiling the highlights from another remarkable year at the museum. We kicked off the year in style, with...
Public voting for our Race to the Museum contest opened December 21, 2010 and will run through January 11, 2011.   Can't wait...
In the National Museum of American History, there is a cabinet full of keys—keys that fit the 73 cars in the museum’s automobile...
This post is the last in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the seventh in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday...
This post is the sixth in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the fifth in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the fourth in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the third in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the second in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
This post is the first in a series of eight profiling automobiles in the museum’s collection. At the conclusion of the series on Tuesday,...
In the museum, there is a cabinet full of keys—keys that fit the 73 cars in the museum’s automobile collection. Fourteen of these cars are...
As museum professionals, we’re often asked about our favorite artifacts in the museum. In the Thinkfinity online community, this question...
Many of today’s political candidates harness social media to rally the electorate. But what did politicians do before the advent of...
Hallowe’en is one of America’s most popular holidays, for a variety of reasons. Although it has clear antecedents in the ancient Celtic...
In black and white photo, a young girl looks at doll house with guidance of an older woman
Meet the Dolls. This miniature family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their 10 children, two visiting grandparents, five servants, and...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
Last week on the museum’s Facebook page, we featured a photograph of the National Mall taken from the Washington Monument in 1965. We...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
Mariela Melero and Brent D. Glass stand near artifacts, including a yellow shirt for a doll that Mariela is holding, which were donated to the National Museum of American History by the Melero family
As chronicled in several of our past posts, the National Museum of American History regularly holds naturalization ceremonies in...
Editor’s note: This post, written by Ryan Holladay, member of the D.C. music collective Bluebrain, is second in a series about...
Curators use objects to tell a story about an event, a period of history, a person, a group of people, or a movement. Because we have a...
Photo of World Trade Center towers against a clear morning sky on September 11, 2001. Gift of John Labriola. What I remember about the...
Time magazine cover with text: "AIDS The Growing Threat / What's Being Done"
AIDS - The Growing Threat, What’s Being Done. Time Magazine, Aug. 12, 1985.Editor’s note: The museum is planning a special display of...
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part post. See yesterday's post for the background on this story. The hard science of...
One of the key jobs of the curator is rounding up and analyzing material culture, the objects that we shape and that shape us. Brochures,...
Ever subject to revision and review, history often has a way of catapulting one figure into fame at the expense of another’s descent into...
Every time I consider quitting Facebook, a surprising connection keeps me hanging on. That’s how “Music for The World of Tomorrow” became...

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