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A peek into our collections, one object at a time
To Tell the Tooth
What species of extinct mammal did this molar belong to?
Ground Control to Major Tom?
This mid-century space oddity allowed visitors to phone home.
Relics of a Pivotal, Calamitous Battle
These relics commemorate the bloodiest single battle on American soil.
A Life Well-Laughed
Newhart has had an award-winning, six decade-long career as a stand-up comedian and film and television actor.
The Harlem Hellfighters fought with ferocity and gallantry and are honored in Bisa Butler’s artwork.
Grain by Grain
Part painting, part sculpture, the resulting art form is unique and often quite astonishing in its detail and precision.
This artwork brings illumination to the problem of light pollution.
Hedy Lamarr: Golden Age Film Star—and Important Inventor
Lamarr’s invention contributed to communications technologies used today, such as Wi-Fi and GPS.
A Path to Genealogical and Historical Discovery
Family historians and genealogists can search for their ancestors; scholars can research topics related to slavery and the era of Reconstruction.
Betty White's Lesser-Known Role
From Hollywood to the home front.
Grace Thorpe: A Life of Service at Home and Abroad
Thorpe was a World War II veteran and advocate for Native American rights.
What a Good Boy!
What kind of dog
Still Rolling Around
Even in the digital age, the Rolodex survives.
Beautiful Blue Morpho
What makes this butterfly blue?
Confirmation at Last of a Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way
Eight radio observatories across the planet formed a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope to capture the image.
The Photographer Who Captured Humans and Animals in Motion
Muybridge’s groundbreaking photography captured the moment all of a horse’s hooves were off the ground at once.
The Coal Miner’s Daughter and a Canary Yellow Dress
Country music icon Loretta Lynn created her own look and sound.
Elizabeth Catlett Showcased Issues Through Her Art
Catlett’s sculptures show her long-standing interest in African American dignity, struggle, motherhood and uplift.
A Fearless Journalist
Journalist and civil rights activist Ethel Payne was often known as the First Lady of the Black Press
Her Moment in the Sun
Celebrated playwright and civil rights activist Lorraine Hansberry in her Greenwich Village apartment.
A Little Mouse Hygge
A pleasant scene from Beatrix Potter’s
The Tailor of Gloucester
Shedding Light on the Sun
In a historic event, Smithsonian scientists help probe the sun.
Taking Off With a Jet Pack
Imagining the future of flight.
A Nose the Better To Hear You With
The horseshoe bat has excellent echolocation.
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