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  • Popular article on the Smithsonian Institution written shortly after the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder, James Smithson. Includes a brief summary of Smithson's bequest and provides an overview of the Smithsonian's history, from early planning stages to its current structure, along with descriptions of several collections on display.
  • Collections mentioned separately range from memorabilia of Presidents of the United States to various machines displayed in the Museum of History and Technology, and from an African elephant to the Hope Diamond, both exhibited in the National Museum of Natural History. The National Zoo is named as an integral part of the Smithsonian, and the planned Air and Space Museum is cited as being the future home for the Smithsonian's comprehensive aircraft collection, which includes the Enola Gay.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Enola Gay (Bomber)
  • United States President


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes photographs of the Smithsonian's air and space collection in the Arts and Industries Building, and various other exhibits in the National Museum of History and Technology and the National Museum of Natural History.

Contained within

Life Vol. 59 (Journal)

Contact information

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


November 19, 1965


  • Souvenirs (Keepsakes)
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • SI, Early History
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Bequest
  • National Collections
  • Hope diamond
  • Collectibles
  • Relics
  • Museum exhibits

Physical description

Number of pages: 10 Page numbers: 86-97

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