The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” We continue to honor this mission and invite you to join us in our quest. [37][38][39] That same year, the Smithsonian signed an agreement to take over the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration (now the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum). The Smithsonian has close ties with 168 other museums in 39 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico. About the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. [25], In 1846, the regents developed a plan for weather observation; in 1847, money was appropriated for meteorological research. [19] Finally, on August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a secretary of the Smithsonian. When Hungerford died childless in 1835,[13] the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program offers opportunities for independent research or study related to Smithsonian collections, facilities, and/or research interests of the Institution and its staff. These included the study of plant life and the creation of a botanical garden on the capitol Mall, an examination of the country's mineral production, improvement in the management and care of livestock, and the writing of a topographical and statistical history of the United States. [52] A smaller amount of funds would go to educational initiatives and digitization of collections. It encompasses 137 staff members and is supported by an advisory board of 15 leaders from around the United States. [56], The Smithsonian Institution announced in January 2015 that it is in talks to build its first permanent overseas exhibition space within London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Regents are compensated on a part-time basis. The Smithsonian Institution is releasing 2.8 million images from its massive collection online free for anyone to use. Smithsonian Archives hold 156,830 cubic feet (4,441 m3) of archival material. As a New Hope Spot, What’s In Store for a More Sustainable Future? "[72] Today, the website features a high-tech virtual museum. [56] These museums are known as Smithsonian Affiliated museums. Global Change Research Program. [91] On March 10, 2014, the Smithsonian Board selected David Skorton, a physician and president of Cornell University, as the 13th secretary of the Smithsonian. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19 th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is releasing 2.8 million images from its massive collection online free for anyone to use. The Smithsonian is a national and world treasure and is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as … The Global Volcanism Program (GVP) seeks better understanding of all volcanoes through documenting their eruptions--small as well as large--during the past 10,000 years. In addition, staff experts conduct oral and video histories that further document important figures and events in the histo… Reports were to be published periodically to share this knowledge with the greater public, but due to a lack of funds, this initially did not occur. [79] Another Secretary of the Smithsonian, Walter Boyne, founded Air & Space. The Smithsonian Board of Regents said it asked regent John McCarter, Jr., to lead a search committee. The history of the Smithsonian reflects the history of science, technology, art, and culture, both nationally and internationally. [11] Other funding comes from the Institution's endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, and earned retail, concession, and licensing revenue. The Henry Medal, established in 1878, is presented to individuals in recognition of their distinguished service, achievements or contributions to the prestige and growth of the Smithsonian Institution. Other members of the Board of Regents are three members of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the House; three members of the Senate, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; and nine citizen members, nominated by the board and approved by the Congress in a joint resolution signed by the president of the United States. Empowering people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library (Republic of Panama) Tropical biology, ecology, conservation, pharmacognosy, ecotourism, etc. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states,[note 1] Puerto Rico, and Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates.[8][9]. After heated debate, Massachusetts representative (and former president) John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest[18] and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. As we all work to shape a sustainable world, this record becomes the starting point. The Office of Protection Services (OPS) The Smithsonian is home to 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. p. 348. Main site is in Panama City; branches in research stations on Barro Colorado Island on Gatun Lake, and on Colón Island, Bocas del Toro Province . The Smithsonian also has a large number of traveling exhibitions, operated through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). ", Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, List of aircraft in the Smithsonian Institution, "Smithsonian History > National Museum of American History", https://library.gwu.edu/sites/default/files/scrc/Columbian_Institute.pdf, "James Smithson – Founder of the Smithsonian, Last Will and Testament", "Founding of the Smithsonian Institution", "From the Pacific to the Patent Office: The US Exploring Expedition and the origins of America's first national museum", "Building a Lasting Cuba-U.S. Bridge through Science", "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination: Smithsonian Institution Building", "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination: Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian Institution", "Camille Akeju: New Director Seeks to Rejuvenate Anacostia Museum", "Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum", "The List: Six Things You Didn't Know About the Air and Space Museum on its 35th Anniversary", "Review: The Smithsonian African American Museum Is Here at Last. Explore dining, shopping, theater and interactive activities while you are visiting our locations. For other uses, see, Smithsonian Institution (the United States), Secretaries of the Smithsonian Institution, "Smithsonian Information Brochure", Smithsonian Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center, May 2009. The Trust builds on the mission of Englishman James Smithson (c.1765-1829), a chemist and mineralogist and the founding donor of the Smithsonian who left the entirety of his estate to the United States to found "at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The Smithsonian Institution Archives serves as the institutional memory of a unique cultural organization. [72], The center is a division of the Smithsonian Institution. [59][60], The Smithsonian Institution has many categories of displays that can be visited at the museums. Mission Statement: The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) advances the increase and diffusion of knowledge by strengthening, diversifying, and developing academic appointments (internships, fellowships, and research associate appointments). Smithsonian officials made the campaign public in October 2014 in an effort to raise the remaining $500 million. [31], The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to similarly accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, which had previously been housed in the Castle and then the Arts and Industries Building. See Paris through the lens of the African American experience on this new virtual tour! Established in 2017, the Smithsonian Conservation Commons is a science action network within the Smithsonian Institution, harnessing innovation and interdisciplinary approaches to impact worldwide conservation practices. 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