National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections. The museum preserves and shares this extraordinary national collection encompassing everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner to Abraham Lincoln’s top hat; from the first computer bug to the first artificial heart; from Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet to Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Our archival collections include a remarkable array of American history in documents, photographs, and other works, including major holdings on the histories of American business and music.

Bring a National Museum of American History speaker to your neighborhood (Virtually)

This Virtual Scholar Talk is one of several offered to Affiliates this summer. Check them all out here.

In celebration of Pride month, Katherine Ott, curator and historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, discussed her work curating “Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall.” The exhibition at the National Museum of American History commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and other pivotal moments in the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.

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Meagan Smith
Affiliations Program Assistant

Loan Question? Look here!

Things to read before requesting an object loan from the National Museum of American History:

Made By Us

Made By Us is an unprecedented effort by stewards of our national memory to present history in relevant, provocative, and surprising ways for anyone who wants to participate in shaping the future of our country. Over the next few years, we’ll listen, learn, and share tools and initiatives to address real issues in real-time.

Get involved and stay up to date by signing up to be the first to know about the latest experiments, experiences, and ways to participate. Ask Meagan how you can get involved!

Ask Meagan how you can stay updated and participate!

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Spark!Lab National Network

Spark!Lab is a dynamic learning space where children, families, and groups can create, innovate, collaborate, problem-solve, and invent. Through hands-on activities, they learn about the invention process, inventors and inventions in American history, and innovations that are changing our world today. Most importantly, they are empowered to create their own inventions and to solve problems in their own unique ways.

Three Smithsonian Affiliates are current members:

  • The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC)
  • Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)
  • US Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)

Ask Meagan how you can bring the Spark!Lab to your neighborhood.

National Youth Summits

The National Youth Summit brings middle and high school students together with scholars, teachers, policy experts, and activists in a national conversation about important events in America’s past that have relevance to the nation’s present and future.

Affiliates have participated by hosting their own Regional Youth Summits and facilitated student discussions on a variety of topics.

Ask Meagan how Affiliates have participated in these programs and connected with students in their neighborhoods.

Young People Shake Up Elections (History Proves It)

Missed the session “Re-Thinking Youth Engagement: How Museums can (and should) Co-Create with Teen Audiences” which discussed this program? Not to worry! You can access videos here and download this conversation guide to get started AND All Access ticket holders will also receive a link to the session recording at the conclusion of the Virtual Conference Series.

Ask Meagan about how you can get involved.