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Explore the history of the Smithsonian Institution with the Archives' wide range of online exhibits.

Get to know Spencer Baird, Secretary and naturalist who nurtured the new U.S. National Museum; travel on expeditions with early Smithsonian researchers; tour the U.S. National Museum in 1886; read historic postcards sent by visitors; learn about Smithsonian staff who were also artists; and trace the history of the National Museum of Natural History which has just celebrated its centennial. For additional information on the history of the Smithsonian, visit Resources on the History of the Smithsonian.