About The Bigger Picture

THE BIGGER PICTURE, a blog produced by the Smithsonian Institution Archives, presents an inside look at the Smithsonian’s history and invites readers to explore the role of both formal and informal archives in today’s world. In addition to exploring the numerous and sometimes surprising collections in the Archives, staff members and guest contributors share the challenges they face in collecting, preserving, and presenting the Smithsonian’s archives, and provide tips to readers on managing their own personal collections.

Contributing Authors

The blog is produced by the  Smithsonian Institution Archives in collaboration with guest contributors from throughout the Smithsonian.

Former Contributors



Behind the Scenes: A series giving a behind-the-scenes look at the work involved in managing the visual and textual materials of the Smithsonian’s archives.

Preservation: An in-depth look at the Smithsonian’s archives from researchers, archivists, curators and other Smithsonian staff.

Smithsonian History: Smithsonian History showcases the people, places, treasures, and events that make up the Smithsonian, as it is reflected in its own archives.

What Gets Saved: An examination of the various practices, challenges, and issues that shape archives, history, and memory.

Contact Us

THE BIGGER PICTURE is intended to present multiple perspectives about the cultural impact of archives. We hope that you will participate in the dialogue by commenting on our posts.

To contact a member of the editorial team, please email us.

Commenting Guidelines

- Please play nice. THE BIGGER PICTURE is governed by the rules of respectful discourse. Do not post content that is unlawful, threatening, offensive, defamatory, invasive of another’s privacy, generally inappropriate, confidential or proprietary, political messages, product endorsements, or content that might otherwise violate any legal, ethical or policy restrictions.
- No spam and shameless self-promotion! Use your real name or a username, and not the name of a commercial website or business, when commenting on the blog. Linking to unrelated sites and posting numerous comments are viewed as spam and may result in the removal of comments.
- Stay on topic. Comments that are completely unrelated to a blog post may be removed.
- You are fully responsible for everything that you post. You should only post content that is yours to post.  The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise.
- THE BIGGER PICTURE reserves the right to remove inappropriate content. We do not control the content posted, but it will be monitored from time to time. We reserve the right to remove content for any reason whatsoever, without your consent. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove your privilege to post content on this blog.
- Please do not contribute if you are under the age of 13.


THE BIGGER PICTURE may contain the personal opinions of Smithsonian Institution staff and does not necessarily represent the official Smithsonian Institution (SI) position on these matters. Links to external Internet sites from SI Web pages do not constitute SI’s endorsement of the content of their Web sites or of their policies or products. The Smithsonian does not willingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13.

For more guidelines on the use of content in this blog, please review the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In Expose: 

Produced by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. For copyright questions, please see the Terms of Use.