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Requests for Smithsonian Records

The Smithsonian responds to requests for records in accordance with its records disclosure policy Smithsonian Directive 807 - Requests for Smithsonian Institution Information. As a trust instrumentality of the United States, the Smithsonian is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, which applies only to agencies within the Executive Branch of the federal government. However, the Smithsonian's disclosure policy follows the spirit of the FOIA to foster openness and accountability.

Records Requests Contact Person

Jessica Sanet
Assistant General Counsel

Smithsonian Institution
Office of General Counsel
MRC 012
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Fax: (202) 357-4310

To learn the status of your request, please contact Jessica Sanet, Assistant General Counsel, at The Smithsonian makes every effort to respond to each request for records as quickly as possible, taking into account the complexity of each request and the volume of the located documents.

Appeals and External Review


Appeals— A requester has the right to appeal a partial or full denial of his/her request. The appeal must be in writing, addressed to the Office of General Counsel at the Smithsonian, and made within sixty days from the date of the full or partial denial letter. The appeal letter should include the request’s tracking number and explain what specific action is being appealed. The Under Secretary for Finance and Administration shall have the authority to decide appeals. The requester will receive an answer in writing granting or denying the appeal.

External Review— A requester may contact the Office of Government and Information Services at the National Archives and Records Administration to seek dispute resolution regarding his/her request for records.