The Institution's 30 million annual visitors[10] are admitted without charge. The MSC was dedicated in May 1983. As we all work to shape a sustainable world, this record becomes the starting point. It did, and the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. [14] Congress officially accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836. Global Change Research Program. The Smithsonian Institution is releasing 2.8 million images from its massive collection online free for anyone to use. The Smithsonian has close ties with 168 other museums in 39 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico. [23] The voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, and diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, and ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean. Critics contend this agreement effectively gives Showtime control over the film archives, as it requires filmmakers to obtain permission from the network to use extensive amounts of film footage from the Smithsonian archives. [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). Mission and Vision Statement. The National Museum of American History is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections. See Paris through the lens of the African American experience on this new virtual tour! [15] The American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. [35], More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology (renamed the National Museum of American History in 1980), opened in 1964. Smithsonian Institution, research institution founded by the bequest of James Smithson, an English scientist who had stipulated in his will that if his heir died without issue, his remaining assets should be given to the United States for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.’ Smithsonian Gardens is open to the public every day except December 25 and January 20, 2021. [73], Pilar O'Leary launched the program when she served as executive director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. Welcome to your Smithsonian Libraries and Archives! In many ways, the origin of the Smithsonian Institution can be traced to a group of Washington citizens who, being "impressed with the importance of forming an association for promoting useful knowledge," met on June 28, 1816 to establish the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences. About the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states,[note 1] Puerto Rico, and Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates.[8][9]. Mission: "Commemorate, Educate, Inspire" The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum collects, preserves, studies, and exhibits artifacts, archival materials, and works of art related to the history, culture, and science of aviation and spaceflight and the study of the universe. As the world's largest traveling exhibition service, SITES offers exhibitions to museums, libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools, and other institutions across the nation. The Smithsonian is a global organization actively involved in conserving biodiversity, priceless art, and much more. More than 60,000 individuals and organizations donated money to the campaign by the time it went public. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr., its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. The National Museum of Natural History houses 145 million of these specimens and artifacts, which are mostly animals preserved in Formaldehyde. It operates two landmark facilities that, together, welcome more than eight million visitors a year, making it the most visited museum in the country. Jul 3, 2016 - Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service - About the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service's mission, history, and goals. The National Museum of American History is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections. It was designed by the world-renowned firm of McKim, Mead & White. No performance plans existed for the staff and unfulfilled financial obligations to sponsors existed. The Smithsonian is home to 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. [43] The National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian's largest in terms of floor space, opened in June 1976. [52] A smaller amount of funds would go to educational initiatives and digitization of collections. [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. [71] The MSC covers 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) of land, with over 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of space, making it one of the largest set of structures in the Smithsonian. 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