All Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., including the National Zoo, and in New York City continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The objects highlighted below are held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and represent only a preliminary survey of the museum’s holdings that are related to women in World War I. Please also keep in mind that we have a very broad definition of what constitutes women's involvement in the war.
These objects relate to the closure of the Natural History Building of the U.S. National Museum at the Smithsonian. The Natural History Building, now the National Museum of Natural History, closed to the public on July 16, 1918, in order to accommodate the Bureau of War Risk Insurance. Many of the Bureau's clerks who worked in the museum were women. The building reopened to the public in April 1919.
Also, check out SIA's blog post about Smithsonian employees' contributions to the war effort during World War I—including the charwomen of the Natural History Building!