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Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley sitting on roof of building across from South Yard. Aerial view of Quadrangle shows Smithsonian Institution Building (SIB) or Castle, Enid A. Haupt Garden, National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (AMSG). The National Mall and National Museum of Natural History can be seen behind the Castle in the distance.

Smithsonian History


The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with nineteen museums with over 137 million objects, and nine research centers across the globe. Explore resources on the history of the Institution, beginning with James Smithson’s 1829 bequest to the people of the United States.