Historic Pictures of the Smithsonian

Welcome to the Smithsonian of yesterday. This exhibit takes you on a tour of the Smithsonian from its founding to today, from the museums on the Mall in Washington, D.C., New York City and Virginia; to astrophysical observatories in Massachusetts and Arizona; a tropical biology station in Panama; a marine biology station in Florida; and an environmental research center on the Chesapeake Bay. These images give a "behind-the-scenes" look at the Institution and its past.

All of these images come from the collections of the Smithsonian Archives. More records on the history of the Institution are available in the Archive’s Collection search. Rights and reproduction, as well as citation information, are available for each image. For other resources on the history of the Smithsonian, visit the Resources section.

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