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About Us

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Mission and VisionShaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. More...

Museums and ZooThe Smithsonian is home to 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. More...

Research Centers The Smithsonian operates nine research centers and numerous research programs. More...

Cultural Programs A steward and ambassador of cultural connections, the Smithsonian's work promotes understanding of world cultures. More...

ConsortiaThe Smithsonian Consortia help foster a spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration to stimulate intellectual exchange. More...

Collections The Smithsonian's collections represent our nation's rich heritage, art from across the globe, and the immense diversity of the natural and cultural world. More...

Affiliate Museums The Smithsonian's Affiliations program brings our unparalleled collections, scholarship, and exhibitions to communities across the nation. More...

Science Smithsonian science examines many of the world's most complex and time-sensitive problems. More...

Education Education is at the core of our mission, from informal education opportunities to lesson plans for teachers, and professional development. More...

Smithsonian Building, The Castle

Smithsonian At a Glance

Donald W. Reynolds Center

19 Museums

9 Research Centers

190+ Affiliate Museums
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Visitors at the Natural History Museum

30 million visits to
Smithsonian museums
and National Zoo (2013)
More information »

99.9 million
website visitors (FY 2014)

Visitors viewing collections

138 million objects,
artworks and specimens
Collections »

8.8 million digitized records
available online
Collections Search Center »
Smithsonian X 3D Explorer »


Learn more about the Smithsonian by exploring these sections: