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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Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in the South Yard

March 1, 1890

The Astrophysical Observatory is established in a wooden edifice built at the cost of the Smithsonian on the grounds south of the Smithsonian Institution Building. It will subsequently be enlarged, and three other smaller structures will be added between 1893 and 1898, all enclosed by a fence.More

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