Hot Topics In Archives Research

When asked what the Smithsonian Institution Archives collects, we say we hold records about the history of the Smithsonian and its people, programs, research, and activities. While accurate, this doesn't really give anyone a clue about what is actually in those records.

The SIA Reference Team handles an average of around 5,000 queries per year, and if you ask us what people have been researching at the Archives recently, you'll get some pretty interesting responses. Although not comprehensive, here's a snapshot of the diverse range of information encompassed by the history of the world's largest museum complex!

Rigging whale skull in Evolution Hall

Over the past three months, long-term researcher projects have included:

  • Smithsonian repatriation policies  
  • The 1963 Poor People’s March
  • History of Ornithology
  • Exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History
  • The Bureau of Biological Survey (now known as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and predator extermination
  • Art and diplomacy in the Cold War
  • The Smithsonian & psychical research

Enid A. Haupt (l.) and Lady Bird Johnson in the Enid A. Haupt Garden in the South Yard of the Castle

Upcoming publications using our photos or documents include:

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