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.
S. Dillon Ripley takes office as the eighth Smithsonian Secretary and serves until 1984. Ripley, an ornithologist, had been a professor of biology at Yale University and director of its Peabody Museum of Natural History.More
The Smithsonian’s Second Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird dedicated his career to creating a great national museum at the Smithsonian, the U.S. National Museum that opened in 1881. Learn about Baird and the fulfillment of his dreams.