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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South Facade, Smithsonian Institution Building, by Unknown, c. 1848, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, MNH-2535 or MNH2535.

January 28, 1847

The Board of Regents passes a resolution accepting the Norman plan and design of New York architect James Renwick, Jr., for the Smithsonian Institution Building, known as the Castle. The Board also decides that the western range and western wing of the building are to be reserved for a gallery of art.More

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