Smithsonian Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriation Totals $759.6 Million

April 18, 2011
News Release

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The Smithsonian’s FY 2011 budget appropriation from Congress is $759.6 million. This year’s appropriation includes $635 million for salaries and expenses and $124.7 million for the facilities capital account. The Institution’s FY 2010 appropriation was $761.4 million.

Salaries and Expenses

The Salaries and Expenses account covers salaries and benefits, rent, utilities, travel, routine maintenance, security and other operating expenses.

The appropriation supports the Smithsonian’s strategic plan with funding for the four grand challenges of the plan: $1.2 million for Biodiversity, which includes funds for biodiversity and climate change research, DNA barcoding and the Encyclopedia of Life website; $300,000 for Understanding the American Experience; $200,000 for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe; and $300,000 for World Cultures.

Funds in the Salaries and Expenses account will go toward collections care—$1.3 million to improve preservation, storage, documentation and accessibility to the Institution’s collections and for the care of the animals at the National Zoo.

The term “broadening access” in the strategic plan refers to using the latest technology to make the collections accessible to researchers and people who cannot visit the museums. A total of $500,000 will be dedicated to staff and computer equipment to continue the process of digitizing the Smithsonian collections.

Facilities Capital

Facilities capital funds for FY 2011 is for a variety of revitalization projects, which total $89 million. The five biggest projects are:

  • National Museum of American History—$18 million to convert the parking garage into useable space for collections storage (swing space) during the next renovation phase (west wing).
  • National Museum of Natural History—$16.6 million to replace the 40-year-old mechanical and electrical systems and continue replacing windows in the main building.
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center—$8.2 million for a laboratory and support facility to replace temporary trailers that have deteriorated.
  • National Zoo—$11.4 million for continued infrastructure work, repairs of the seals and sea lions pool and renovation of a training and education center at the Zoo’s facility in Front Royal, Va.
  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum—$9 million for renovation of the Carnegie Mansion that houses the museum, including replacing the main elevator and upgrading the building’s systems.

A Planning and Design total of $30.6 million will go toward the National Museum of African American History and Culture ($20 million) and to design several major revitalization projects at the Natural History Museum and the Zoo ($10.6 million), in addition to designs for smaller projects and master planning.

A budget summary for the FY 2010 and FY 2011 appropriations follow:

  Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
Salaries and Expenses (S&E)  $636.2 million  $634.9 million
Facilities Capital


Planning and Design




$89.3 million

$35.7 million

$125 million


$89.1 million

$35.6 million

$124.7 million
Total Accounts $761.2 million $759.6 million

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Linda St.Thomas

(202) 633-5188