Contact Us

For efficient service, please read through the following list and contact the appropriate office directly, or review the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page.

Air & Space Magazine


    Smithsonian Magazine / Smithsonian Catalog

    Museum Stores

      Smithsonian Books

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      • Phone Orders: 800.733.3000                                                                                           

      Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press

      • Web:
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      DK Smithsonian- published by Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. (not Smithsonian)

      Smithsonian Journeys

      For visit-planning and Smithsonian-related inquiries not addressed above:

      • Email:
        • Inquiries about topics listed above sent to will be referred to contacts listed above for review and response.
      • Phone: 202.633.1000 (recorded information/live voice)
      • Address:
        Smithsonian Information 
        PO Box 37012 
        SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010 
        Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
      • Staff Mail:
        Employee name
        Smithsonian Institution
        Building nameroom number (if known)
        PO Box 37012
        Washington, DC 20013-7012

        Frequently Asked Questions

        The Smithsonian does not maintain a centralized mailing list; each membership program maintains its own membership database. Please contact the appropriate membership program:

        The Smithsonian acquires thousands of objects and specimens each year for its collection holdings through donation, bequest, purchase, exchange, and field collecting. Each museum and curatorial department decides on a case-by-case basis which objects to add to its collections. Donations are accepted only when the item truly complements the collection. We also consider whether we can properly care for an intended donation, as our collections are held in trust for the American people.

        In order to make such decisions, our curators will need a few images of the objects you wish to donate, along with as much background information as you have. Please submit your donation request with the images included as attachments in one single e-mail to If you wish to sell your item to the Smithsonian, you must also include your asking price. Once you provide the images and information in a single e-mail, we will forward your offer to the appropriate staff for consideration. Museum staff will contact you directly if they are interested in your offer.

        Under no circumstances should you send us your object without prior written curatorial approval.

        Smithsonian staff is unable to comment on (e.g., speculate on value, intended use, authenticity, age, or materials) or to do research on items outside our own collections. Smithsonian policy prevents us from recommending a specific appraiser or dealer. You can ascertain the current range of prices for items exchanged at sales and auctions by consulting the price guides available in bookstores, public libraries, or online. Also, dealers actively engaged in buying and selling antiques, professional appraisers attached to sales galleries, and official appraisers for local probate courts usually can give prevailing values. Information on providers of these services can be found in collectors' magazines, in the yellow pages of telephone directories, or in other sources available from the reference librarian in your area library. Also see general information on object appraisals.

        Staff specialists at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute (MCI; previously Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education) are asked questions on a wide variety of subjects relative to caring for and preserving artifacts and heirlooms. Broad guidelines and strategies for artifact and collections care may be found on the MCI website below.

        The Smithsonian holds nearly 154 million objects in its collections, distributed among its 19 museums, the National Zoo, libraries, research centers, and storage facilities. Many artifacts are donated to the Smithsonian by individuals, private collectors, and federal agencies; others come to the collections through field expeditions, bequests, exchanges with other museums and organizations, and purchases.

        Only a small percentage of the Smithsonian’s vast holdings are on view. Many artifacts not on display are stored in collection study areas in the museums and are available to researchers by appointment. Air- and spacecraft are conserved and stored at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air and Space Museum, in Chantilly, Virginia. Other research collections are housed in Landover and Suitland, Maryland, facilities.

        Most of our collections have been catalogued in our Collections database. If you don’t find the object you are interested in listed there, please send as much information about the object as you have to; such information as a complete description of the item, its history, how and when it came to the Smithsonian, who donated it, and the museum or facility to which it was donated can help us refer your inquiry to the appropriate collections staff.

        Some museums and units may be contacted directly. To either conduct research or inquire about a collection, either send a detailed email or follow instructions at any of the following:

        Anacostia Community Museum-

        Archives of American Art-


        Smithsonian Gardens-

        National Postal Museum- or;


        For general information on using Smithsonian content, please visit our Terms of Use webpage. Each museum and office grants rights to reproduce objects and images in its collections. To determine which museum holds the object or image you are interested in, search our Collections database. For information on how to contact the appropriate office to request rights, please see our Rights, Restrictions, and Security Contacts webpage.

        Many of the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are available as unique settings for special events. Organizations and individuals can rent Smithsonian spaces for their private event. To learn more about events at the different museums, spaces that are available for rent, capacities of spaces and contact information, please visit see Host an Event at the Smithsonian for information.