Every Collection has a Story. The 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.  

John Quincy Adams Portrait, by Unknown, c. 1840s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-32265.

January 19, 1836

Former President John Quincy Adams, now in the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, issues a report on the James Smithson bequest, urging that the United States accept it.

See More Historic Events