Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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U.S. National Museum Under Construction, by Unknown, 1879, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2005-8427 or SA-742.

April 17, 1879

Ground is broken for construction of the U.S. National Museum building, now the Arts and Industries Building. Concrete foundations are begun on April 29th and the brick-work of the walls on May 21st. The main walls will be completed by November 1st.More

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