Contact Us


Archives Reading Room

The Archives' reading room is open to all researchers. Business hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except for Federal holidays. Prior to your visit, we ask that you review the Collections Access Policies and contact us to ensure that pertinent records are available during your visit. Also, please review the Tools for Researchers and the Reference FAQ to make the most of your visit.

Reference Help Online

If you are not able to visit the Archives, the reference staff is available to help you. Inquiries are welcome via our Reference Inquiries form, telephone (202-633-5870), fax (202-633-5927), mail (address below) and email. Note that some of our collections are available online for reference. You can also contact Smithsonian Institution Archives staff with special knowledge and skills.

If you have other inquiries related to preservation, records management, the website, or other services the Archives offers, please use the online contact form.


Physical access to the reading room of the Smithsonian Institution Archives is available by elevator.

For access through TTY, telephone (202) 357-1729 (TTY). For additional information on accessibility, call (202) 633-1000 (V). 

Mailing address

Reference Archivist
Smithsonian Institution Archives
MRC 507
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is located in the Capital Gallery Building, Suite 3000, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20024. Capital Gallery is one block south of the National Mall on the corner of Maryland Avenue and 7th Street, Southwest. There is an entrance to L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station just outside the building, and the Archives is on the third floor.

View Larger Map

There is no public parking facility at the Archives, and on-street parking is limited and posted times are enforced. There are commercial parking lots and garages located within several blocks of the Archives. However, because parking is limited, public transportation is recommended.

Getting to the Archives

Public Transportation

Metro:  The best way to get to the Archives is by taking Metrorail, Washington, DC’s subway system. Use L’Enfant Plaza station, on Metrorail's Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Green lines, and take the Maryland Avenue and 7th Street, SW exit. This will place you directly in front of the Capital Gallery Building. Simply take the elevator to the third floor to reach the Archives. For a Metrorail map and more information, visit the Metro Website.

Bus:  Metrobus links Washington with nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia, and has stops near the Archives. The D.C. Circulator bus also offers a quick and convenient service to the Archives via the Circulator’s Convention Center - SW Waterfront line.

Other Transportation

The Archives is located nearby Union Station, Washington, DC’s main train and bus terminal.

Trains:  Train service to Union Station includes AMTRAK, MARC (Maryland Rail Commuter) and VRE (Virginia Railway Express). VRE also stops above-ground and adjacent to the Capital Gallery Building at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station.

Buses:  Greyhound and Peter Pan bus stops at Union Station are in close proximity to the Union Station Metro station.

Visiting Information for Other Divisions at the Smithsonian Institution

For general information about visiting Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, consult the Smithsonian’s homepage, call Voice 202.633.1000 (V) or 202.633.5285 (TTY), or send an e-mail to