Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Archives of American Art

Archives of American Gardens

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection Archive

Human Studies Film Archives

National Air and Space Archives

National Anthropological Archives

National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center

National Portrait Gallery

Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Research & Scholars Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

"Speedy" mascot for Alka Seltzer, ca. 1950s-1960s. Alka Seltzer Collection

Archives Center
National Museum of American History
1st Floor, West Wing
14th & Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20560




Monday – Thursday
10am to 4pm
Appointment Required

Metro Stop: Smithsonian
or Federal Triangle



The Archives Center supports the mission of the National Museum of American History by preserving and providing access to documentary evidence of the American past. The Archives Center's collections complement the Museum's artifacts and are used for scholarly research, exhibitions, journalism, documentary productions, school programs, and other research and educational activities.

More than 1,200 collections occupy some 30,000+ feet of shelving in the American History building and in several off-site storage locations. In addition to paper-based textual records, many Center collections contain photographs, motion picture films, videotapes, sound recordings, and digital materials.

The topics of technology, advertising, and music offer one way to categorize the Center's varied holdings, and the collections are rich in important historical themes and topics that cut across these lines. For example, collections in each category are sources for understanding the roles and activities of women in the American past. Many Center collections document entrepreneurial activity in which invention and marketing are inextricably linked. The creation of nationally recognized brands and corporate identities and commercial depictions of gender, ethnicity, and other cultural categories are well represented in the holdings.

Brief, indexed descriptions of Archives Center collections are found in SIRIS (Smithsonian Institution Research Information System), an on-line catalog shared with other Smithsonian archives and libraries. (www.siris.si.edu) Collection descriptions can also be found on the Smithsonian portal at www.collections.si.edu. The Archives Center's web pages include on-line versions of many finding aids for Center collections, information about research use of the Center, and virtual tours and displays of select Center holdings.