The Archives will be moving its largest photographic collection this fall. Due to staffing constraints, records management services will be unavailable beginning approximately November 12 through November 27, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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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Today in Smithsonian History

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

November 30, 1846

The Building Committee of the Board of Regents reports on their efforts to select an appropriate plan for a building to accommodate the functions of the newly established Smithsonian. After visiting buildings in a number of cities and reviewing plans submitted by various architects, the committee selected a plan submitted by James Renwick, Jr., in the later Norman, or more strictly Lombard style, as it prevailed in Germany, Normandy, and Southern Europe in the 12th century.More

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