Due to the inclement weather, the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the reading room will be closed Thursday, 3/5/2015.

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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Fénykövi Elephant, NHB Rotunda, by Unknown, 1978, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 78-18434-6A or SIA78-18434-06A.

March 6, 1959

A male African bush elephant, a gift from Josef J. Fénykövi, a Hungarian-born engineer and big game hunter, and prepared by the Museum's taxidermy staff, is unveiled in the place of honor in the center Rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History. At the time of its unveiling, it is the largest land mammal on display in a museum. Fénykövi tracked down and shot the elephant in the Cuando River region of southeastern Angola on November 13, 1955.More

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