Museum Opens to Public




Date: December 1858


Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact
Download IIIF Manifest Request permissions Download image Print

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


The Museum in the Smithsonian Institution Building opens to the public. The 29 December 1858 Washington Star reports that many Washingtonians visited the Smithsonian Museum during the holidays and recommends it as an excellent place for both recreation and learning.


  • United States National Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Lower Main Hall
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Great Hall


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • A federal appropriation was received in March of 1857 to construct cases for public display.
  • Image is "Museum in Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building," negative number 91-17967, from Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 15.
  • Washington Star, 13 November 1858 and 29 December 1858.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


December 1858


  • Museum buildings
  • Openings
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Museum visitors


Washington (D.C.)

Full Record

View Full Record