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About Us

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Mission and Vision

Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. More...

Museums and Zoo

The Smithsonian is home to 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. More...

Research Centers

The Smithsonian operates nine research centers and numerous research programs. More...

Cultural Centers

A steward and ambassador of cultural connections, the Smithsonian's work promotes understanding of world cultures. More...


Education is at the core of our mission, from informal education opportunities to lesson plans for teachers, and professional development. More...


The Smithsonian Consortia help foster a spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration to stimulate intellectual exchange. More...


The Smithsonian's collections represent our nation's rich heritage, art from across the globe, and the immense diversity of the natural and cultural world. More...

Affiliate Museums

The Smithsonian's Affiliations program brings our unparalleled collections, scholarship, and exhibitions to communities across the nation. More...

Smithsonian Building, The Castle

Smithsonian at a Glance (2014)

In-Person Engagement

19 Museums + 1 Zoo

26.7M Visits by Public

Collections & Research

137.7M Museums Objects
& Specimens

1.9M Library Volumes


99M Website Visitors

6M+ Social Media Followers


6,373 Employees

721 Research Fellows

9,817 Volunteers

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Learn more about the Smithsonian by exploring these sections: