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SIRIS | Smithsonian Institution Research Information System

Smithsonian Institutional History

The Historic Images of the Smithsonian contains 3000 citations to historic images of the Smithsonian, primarily from the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Subjects of images include people, buildings, artifacts and specimens, exhibits, expeditions, expositions, and special events, ranging from the Smithson family in the 1700s to the present. Each entry consists of text information about each image, including a title, summary, date, creator, location of print, negative number, digital file name, size, color, copyright status, type of image, medium, and explanatory notes. Some images have been digitized and jpegs of those are available. For permission to reproduce or publish, contact or call 202-357-1420. To order reproductions, call 202-633-1933 or contact Entries were compiled from primary sources in the Smithsonian Institution Archives and secondary sources documenting the history of the Institution. To search the image database only, select the combined keyword search screen and limit your search to the Historic Images of the Smithsonian. You may also limit your search to a specific date range or sort by date, title of image, negative number, etc. To limit or sort your search using the browse indexes, select the browse search screen and use the limits or sort functions on the results screen.


Copyright 2003 Smithsonian Institution. Data may be used solely for non-commercial study or research purposes. Commercial use of information obtained through the History of the Smithsonian catalog is prohibited without the express written consent of the Smithsonian Institution.

For permission to reproduce or publish archival images or documents, contact or call 202-633-5870. For ordering reproductions, click here ( or call 202-633-1933 or contact

Contact Information

Inquiries about the history of the Smithsonian should be directed to the address below. As this catalog is an active project, we welcome comments from users on corrections and additions to the catalog entries. Citations to or reprints of items relevant to this catalog or that should be added to this catalog should be sent to the address below.

Institutional History Division
Smithsonian Institution Archives
P. O. Box 37012
Capital Gallery Building, Suite 3000, MRC 507
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Telephone: 202-633-5910
FAX: 202-633-5927