Contact Us

For efficient service, please read through the following list and contact the appropriate office directly.

I would like to donate an object to the Smithsonian Institution. What should I do?

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.

If you are interested in donating objects to one of the following Smithsonian museums, please visit the appropriate webpage:

If you would like to donate objects to the Sackler Gallery of Asian Art, please email MeyerA@si.edu.

If you would like to donate objects to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum or the National Museum of Natural History, please send the following information in a single email to info@si.edu:

  1. a description of your object or an inventory of your collection,
  2. a few images of the objects you wish to donate included as attachments (our mail-processing program strips out embedded email images),
  3. as much provenance information as you have (how long you’ve owned the object; when, where, and how you received it; its origins; etc.),
  4. a brief explanation of why you think your object belongs in the Smithsonian (its historical, cultural, artistic, or scientific significance), and
  5. an indication of which Smithsonian museum or office you think should receive it. 

The Office of Visitor Services will forward your complete donation offer in a single email to the appropriate curatorial staff, who will contact you only if they are interested in pursuing your offer. The Office of Visitor Services is not informed of such decisions.

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

 

How can I find out if the Smithsonian holds a particular object in its collections and where it might be?

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 cataloged 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 info@si.edu; 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- ACMarchives@si.edu

Archives of American Art- https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/visit-research-center#washington-dc

Freer|Sackler- https://www.freersackler.si.edu/collections/appointment

Smithsonian Gardens- http://gardens.si.edu/collections-research

National Postal Museum- NPMobjectresearch@si.edu or;

https://postalmuseum.si.edu/research/appointments-to-research-objects.html

Web: Lost and Found

To report a lost possession, click on the "Lost Property Report Form" inside the link above.

    Air & Space Magazine

          

      Smithsonian Magazine

      The Smithsonian does not maintain a centralized mailing list; each membership program maintains its own membership database. For specific inquiries, including a change of address, or to stop receiving mail, please contact the appropriate membership program:

      African American History and Culture    https://nmaahc.si.edu/connect/contact

      African Art                                                    https://africa.si.edu/about/contact-us/

      Air and Space (DC and VA)                        https://airandspace.si.edu/contact

      American Art                                                https://americanart.si.edu/about/contact

      American History                                        https://americanhistory.si.edu/about/contact

      American Indian (DC and NY)                   https://americanindian.si.edu/about/contact

      Anacostia                                                      http://anacostia.si.edu/Connect

      Arts and Industries                                     https://aib.si.edu/contact-us/

      Castle                                                             Email: info@si.edu

      Cooper Hewitt                                             https://www.cooperhewitt.org/contact/

      Freer|Sackler                                               https://asia.si.edu/about/contact/

      Gardens                                                         Email: gardens@si.edu

      Hirshhorn                                                      https://hirshhorn.si.edu/explore/contact-the-hirshhorn/

      Natural History                                            https://naturalhistory.si.edu/contact-us

      Portrait Gallery                                            https://npg.si.edu/about-us/contact-us

      Postal                                                             https://postalmuseum.si.edu/contact-us

      Renwick                                                         https://americanart.si.edu/about/contact

      Zoo                                                                 https://nationalzoo.si.edu/about/contact-us

       

      • 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.
      • To explore and access Smithsonian content that you may download and use without permission visit Smithsonian Open Access.

      Smithsonian Books

      • Web: www.smithsonianbooks.com
      • Email: info@smithsonianbooks.com 
      • Phone Orders: 800.733.3000                                                                                           

      Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press

      • Web: scholarlypress.si.edu
      • Email: scholarlypress@si.edu                                                                                                                       

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

      Online Shopping

      (Please note that the Smithsonian Catalog is not representative of merchandise sold in the onsite museum stores.)
      I want to shop the online catalog.
      I want to email the online catalog.
      Phone: 800.322.0344
      I want to speak with someone from the online catalog.
       

      Museum Stores

      Onsite Shopping (Due to COVID-19 closures, links are not currently available to each onsite museum store.)
      Individual Museum Stores: www.si.edu/visit/museum-stores
      I want to learn more about each of the onsite stores.
      Product Development & Licensing: (www.si.edu/pdl)
      I want to license a product with the Smithsonian brand or pursue a promotional opportunity.
      I want to sell my products in Smithsonian museum stores.

      Smithsonian Journeys

      For information on visit-planning, including timed entry passes, please visit:

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

      • Email: info@si.edu
      • 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