Smithsonian Institution
Overview
 
The Smithsonian Institution (icon ) is an educational
Museum education
Museum education is an important part of the role of museums.- Introduction :A museum's collection can be used to support education in a variety of ways...

 and research institute and associated museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines. The Smithsonian has requested $797.6 million from Congress in 2011 to fund its operations. While most of its 19 museums, its zoo, and its nine research centers facilities are located in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, sites are also located in Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, and elsewhere.
Encyclopedia
The Smithsonian Institution (icon ) is an educational
Museum education
Museum education is an important part of the role of museums.- Introduction :A museum's collection can be used to support education in a variety of ways...

 and research institute and associated museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines. The Smithsonian has requested $797.6 million from Congress in 2011 to fund its operations. While most of its 19 museums, its zoo, and its nine research centers facilities are located in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, sites are also located in Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, and elsewhere. The Smithsonian has over 136 million items in its collections, publishes two magazines named Smithsonian
Smithsonian (magazine)
Smithsonian is the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The first issue was published in 1970.-History:...

(monthly) and Air & Space
Air & Space
Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine is a bimonthly magazine put out by the National Air and Space Museum. Because the museum is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, which puts out its own Smithsonian magazine, the magazine's full title is Air & Space/Smithsonian...

(bimonthly), and employs the Smithsonian Police
Smithsonian Police
The Smithsonian Institution Office of Protection Services is the guard force of the Smithsonian Institution.It is a federal guard force consisting of 850 officers with limited special police authority tasked with protecting visitors, staff, property, and grounds of the federally-owned and managed...

 to protect visitors, staff, and the property of its museums. The Institution's current logo is a stylized sun.
The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, and many of its buildings are historical and architectural landmarks. In addition, 168 other museums are Smithsonian affiliates.

History

The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge" from a bequest to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 by the British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 scientist James Smithson
James Smithson
James Smithson, FRS, M.A. was a British mineralogist and chemist noted for having left a bequest in his will to the United States of America, to create "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men" to be called the Smithsonian Institution.-Biography:Not much is known...

 (1764–1829), who never visited the new nation. In Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the government of the United States to create an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 informed Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 of the bequest, which amounted to 104,960 gold sovereigns, or US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

500,000 ($10,100,997 in 2008 U.S. dollars after inflation). The money was invested in shaky state bonds, which quickly defaulted. After heated debate in Congress, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 Representative (and former President) John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

 successfully argued to restore the lost funds with interest. Though congress wanted to use the money for other purposes, Adams successfully persuaded congress to preserve the money for an institution of science and learning. Congress also debated whether the federal government had the authority to accept the gift. Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836.

When the Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

 philanthropist
Philanthropist
A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

 Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer was an American railroad-car manufacturer from Detroit, Michigan who gave to the United States his art collections and funds for a building to house them. The Freer Gallery of Art founded by him is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..-Early life:Freer was...

 donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it (which was named the Freer Gallery), it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual. The gallery opened in 1923.

Though the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, before long it also became the depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections. The United States Exploring Expedition
United States Exploring Expedition
The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding lands conducted by the United States from 1838 to 1842. The original appointed commanding officer was Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones. The voyage was authorized by Congress in...

 by the U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842. The voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium
Herbarium
In botany, a herbarium – sometimes known by the Anglicized term herbar – is a collection of preserved plant specimens. These specimens may be whole plants or plant parts: these will usually be in a dried form, mounted on a sheet, but depending upon the material may also be kept in...

 of 50,000 plant specimens, and diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, and ethnographic artifacts from the South
South
South is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.South is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to east and west.By convention, the bottom side of a map is south....

 Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey
United States and Mexican Boundary Survey
The United States and Mexican Boundary Survey set the boundary between the United States and Mexico according to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War. The results of the survey were published in a three-volume work, Report on the United States and Mexican boundary...

 and Pacific Railroad Surveys
Pacific Railroad Surveys
The Pacific Railroad Surveys -A series of explorations of the American West to explore possible routes for a transcontinental railroad across North America. The expeditions included surveyors, scientists, and artists and resulted in an immense body of data covering at least on the American West....

, which assembled many Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 artifacts and natural history specimens.

The Institution became a magnet for natural scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club
Megatherium Club
The Megatherium Club was founded by William Stimpson. It was a group of Washington, D.C.-based scientists who were attracted to that city by the Smithsonian Institution's rapidly growing collection, from 1857 to 1866....

. Many scientists of a variety of disciplines work at the various Smithsonian museums, which have become centers for research.

The asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 3773 Smithsonian
3773 Smithsonian
3773 Smithsonian is a small main belt asteroid. It was discovered by astronomers at the Oak Ridge Observatory in 1984. It is named in honour of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum complex in Washington D.C....

, discovered in 1984, is named in honor of the Institution.

The 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is an American adventure comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and starring Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, and Steve Coogan. The film is a sequel to Night at the Museum...

was the first commercial production to be given rights to use the Smithsonian Institution's name.

Administration

The Smithsonian Institution is established as a trust instrumentality by act of Congress, and it is functionally and legally a body of the U.S. government, but separate from the government's federal legislative, executive, and judicial branches. More than two-thirds of the Smithsonian's workforce of some 6,300 persons are employees of the federal government. Attorneys from the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 represent the Smithsonian in litigation, and any money judgments against the Smithsonian are paid from the federal treasury.

As approved by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on August 10, 1846, the legislation that created the Smithsonian Institution called for the creation of a Board of Regents to govern and administer the organization. This 17-member board meets at least four times a year and includes as ex officio members the Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 and the Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

. The nominal head of the Institution is the Chancellor
Chancellor (education)
A chancellor or vice-chancellor is the chief executive of a university. Other titles are sometimes used, such as president or rector....

, an office which has traditionally been held by the Chief Justice. In September 2007, the Board created the position of Chair of the Board of Regents, a position currently held by Patricia Q. Stonesifer of Washington State.

Other members of the Board of Regents are three members of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

; 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. Regents who are senators or representatives serve for the duration of their elected terms, while citizen Regents serve a maximum of two six-year terms. Regents are compensated on a part-time basis.

The chief executive officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 (CEO) of the Smithsonian is the Secretary, who is appointed by the Board of Regents. There have been 13 Secretaries since the Smithsonian was established. The Secretary also serves as secretary to the Board of Regents, but is not a voting member of that body. The Secretary of the Smithsonian has the privilege of the floor
Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXIII
Rule XXIII of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, governs the privileges of the floor of the Senate....

 at the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

.

Secretaries of the Smithsonian

  1. Joseph Henry
    Joseph Henry
    Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

    , 1846–1878
  2. Spencer Fullerton Baird
    Spencer Fullerton Baird
    Spencer Fullerton Baird was an American ornithologist, ichthyologist and herpetologist. Starting in 1850 he was assistant-secretary and later secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C...

    , 1878–1887
  3. Samuel Pierpont Langley
    Samuel Pierpont Langley
    Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation...

    , 1887–1906
  4. Charles Doolittle Walcott
    Charles Doolittle Walcott
    Charles Doolittle Walcott was an American invertebrate paleontologist. He became known for his discovery in 1909 of well-preserved fossils in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, Canada.-Early life:...

    , 1907–1927
  5. Charles Greeley Abbot
    Charles Greeley Abbot
    Charles Greeley Abbot was an American astrophysicist, astronomer and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He was born in Wilton, New Hampshire.-Life:...

    , 1928–1944
  6. Alexander Wetmore
    Alexander Wetmore
    Frank Alexander Wetmore was an American ornithologist and avian paleontologist.-Life:Wetmore studied at the University of Kansas...

    , 1944–1952
  7. Leonard Carmichael
    Leonard Carmichael
    Leonard Carmichael was a U.S. educator and psychologist. Born on November 9, 1898 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he received his B.S. from Tufts University in 1921 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1924...

    , 1953–1964
  8. Sidney Dillon Ripley
    Sidney Dillon Ripley
    Sidney Dillon Ripley was an American ornithologist and wildlife conservationist. He served as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1964-1984.-Biography:...

    , 1964–1984
  9. Robert McCormick Adams, 1984–1994
  10. Ira Michael Heyman
    Ira Michael Heyman
    Ira Michael Heyman was an Emeritus Professor of Law and of City and Regional Planning, and was Chancellor of University of California, Berkeley, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.-Life:...

    , 1994–1999
  11. Lawrence M. Small
    Lawrence M. Small
    Lawrence M. Small was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the 11th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.-Background:...

    , 2000–2007
  12. Cristián Samper
    Cristián Samper
    Cristián T. Samper Kutschbach is a Colombian-American biologist and Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. He was acting secretary of the Smithsonian from 2007 to 2008, the first Latin American to hold the position.-Career:Samper graduated in 1987 from the...

    , 2007–2008 (acting)
  13. G. Wayne Clough
    G. Wayne Clough
    Gerald Wayne Clough is President Emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, a position he has held since July 2008...

    , 2008-


Samper continues to serve as the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. Admission is free and the museum is open 364 days a year....

.

Smithsonian museums

There are nineteen museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoological Park
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, and as part of the Smithsonian Institution, does not charge admission. Founded in 1889, its mission is to provide leadership in animal care, science, education,...

, that comprise the Smithsonian museums. The majority, eleven, of these museums are located on the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

, which is the strip of land in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 running between the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

 and the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

, with the Washington Monument
Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington...

 providing a division slightly west of the center. Other museums are located elsewhere in Washington, D.C., as well as two in New York City and one in Chantilly, Virginia
Chantilly, Virginia
Chantilly is an unincorporated community located in western Fairfax County and southeastern Loudoun County of Northern Virginia. Recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census designated place , the community population was 23,039 as of the 2010 census -- down from 41,041 in 2000, due to the...

.

The Smithsonian also holds close ties with 168 museums in 39 states, as well as Panama and Puerto Rico. These museums are known as Smithsonian Affiliated museums. Collections of artifacts are given to these museums in the form of long-term loans from the Smithsonian. These long-term loans are not the only Smithsonian exhibits outside the Smithsonian museums. The Smithsonian also has a large number of traveling exhibitions. In 2008, 58 of these traveling exhibitions went to 510 venues across the country.

Smithsonian research centers and programs

The following is a list of Smithsonian research centers, with their affiliated museum in parentheses:
  • Archives of American Art
    Archives of American Art
    The Archives of American Art is the largest collection of primary resources documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States. More than 16 million items of original material are housed in the Archives' research centers in Washington, D.C...

  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it is joined with the Harvard College Observatory to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics .-History:The SAO was founded in 1890 by...

     and the associated Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    The Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is one of the largest and most diverse astrophysical institutions in the world, where scientists carry out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, earth and space sciences, and science education...

  • Carrie Bow Marine Field Station (Natural History Museum)
  • Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is a environmental research and educational facility operated by the Smithsonian Institution. It is located on the Rhode and West Rivers near Edgewater in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, near the western shore of Chesapeake Bay...

  • Center For Earth and Planetary Studies
    Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
    The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies is a research institute affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. Based in Washington, DC, the Center, which was founded in 1972, conducts scientific research related to planetary science, geophysics and the biophysical environment...

     (Air and Space Museum)
  • Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (National Zoo)
  • Marine Station at Fort Pierce (Natural History Museum)
  • Migratory Bird Center
    Migratory Bird Center
    The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to fostering greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of the grand phenomenon of bird migration....

     (National Zoo)
  • Museum Conservation Institute
    Museum Conservation Institute
    The Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute aims to be the center for specialized conservation and technical collection research for all of the Smithsonian museums and collections...

  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, the only bureau of the Smithsonian Institution based outside of the United States, is dedicated to understanding biological diversity. What began in 1923 as small field station on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal Zone has developed...

  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
    The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars , located in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial that was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by an act of Congress in 1968...

  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries
    Smithsonian Institution Libraries
    The Smithsonian Institution Libraries system comprises 20 libraries serving the various Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers. SIL's holdings include 1.5 million volumes as well as a wide array of digital resources. The collections focus primarily on science, art, history and...

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives
  • Smithsonian Latino Center
  • Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program


Also of note is the Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland
Suitland-Silver Hill, Maryland
Suitland-Silver Hill is a census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The census area include separate unincorporated communities of Silver Hill and Suitland, and other smaller communities. The population was 33,515 at the 2000 census...

, which is the principal off-site conservation and collections facility for multiple Smithsonian museums, primarily the National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. Admission is free and the museum is open 364 days a year....

. The MSC was dedicated in May 1983. The MSC covers 4.5 acres (18,210.9 m²) of land, with over 500000 square feet (46,451.5 m²) of space, making it one of the largest set of structures in the Smithsonian. It has over 12 miles (19.3 km) of cabinets, and more than 31 million objects.

Enola Gay display

In 1994, controversy arose over the exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

 associated with display of the Enola Gay
Enola Gay
Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of the pilot, then-Colonel Paul Tibbets. On August 6, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war...

, the Superfortress used by the United States to execute the first atomic bombing in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The American Legion
American Legion
The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

 and Air Force Association
Air Force Association
The Air Force Association is an independent, 501 non-profit, civilian education organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia...

 believed the exhibit put forward only one side of the debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the ethical, legal and military controversies surrounding the United States' atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August 1945 at the close of the Second World War...

, and that it emphasized the effect on the victims without the overall context of the war. The Smithsonian changed the exhibit, displaying the aircraft only with associated technical data and without discussion of its historic role in the war.

Censorship of "Seasons of Life and Land"

In 2003, a National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. Admission is free and the museum is open 364 days a year....

 exhibit, Subhankar Banerjee
Subhankar Banerjee
Subhankar Banerjee is an artist, educator and activist whose images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other Alaskan wild lands have captured international attention....

's Seasons of Life and Land, featuring photographs of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in northeastern Alaska, United States. It consists of in the Alaska North Slope region. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the country, slightly larger than the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge...

, was censored and moved to the basement by Smithsonian officials because they feared that its subject matter was too politically controversial.

In November 2007, the Washington Post reported internal criticism has been raised regarding the institution's handling of the exhibit on the Arctic. According to documents and e-mails, the exhibit and its associated presentation were edited at high levels to add "scientific uncertainty" regarding the nature and impact of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 on the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

. Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Cristián Samper
Cristián Samper
Cristián T. Samper Kutschbach is a Colombian-American biologist and Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. He was acting secretary of the Smithsonian from 2007 to 2008, the first Latin American to hold the position.-Career:Samper graduated in 1987 from the...

 was interviewed by the Post, and claimed the exhibit was edited because it contained conclusions that went beyond what could be proven by contemporary climatology
Climatology
Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences...

. The Smithsonian is now a participant in the U.S. Global Change Research Program
U.S. Global Change Research Program
The United States Global Change Research Program or USGCRP coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The program began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress through the Global Change Research Act...

.

Copyright restrictions

The Smithsonian Institution provides access to its image collections for educational, scholarly and nonprofit uses. Commercial uses are generally restricted unless permission is obtained. Smithsonian images fall into different copyright categories; some are protected by copyright, many are subject to license agreements or other contractual conditions, and some fall into the public domain, such as those prepared by Smithsonian employees as part of their official duties. The Smithsonian’s terms of use for its digital content, including images, are set forth on the Smithsonian Web site.

In April 2006, the institution entered into an agreement of "first refusal" rights for its vast silent
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 and public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 film archives with Showtime Networks
Showtime Networks
Showtime Networks, Inc. is the corporate division of media conglomerate CBS Corporation.The company was established in 1983 as Showtime/The Movie Channel, Inc. after Viacom and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment merged their premium channels, Showtime and The Movie Channel respectively, into one...

. 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.

The Smithsonian contends independent producers continue to have unchanged access to the institution and its collections as they had prior to the agreement. The process to gain access to film at the Smithsonian remains the same. Since January 2006, independent producers have made more than 500 requests to film in the museums and collections, and/or to use archival footage and photos.

Funding

The Smithsonian Institution receives funding from the United States Government, through the House and Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittees. The President’s fiscal year 2011 budget request to Congress for the Smithsonian is $797.6 million, an increase from the $761.4 million appropriated to the Institution in FY 2010. The Salaries and Expenses budget request for FY 2011 is $660.8 million and the Facilities Capital budget is $136.8 million.
During the 1995-1996 Government Shutdown, the Smithsonian closed, due to lack of money to pay salaries.
In 2007, there was controversy about Secretary Small's expenses and compensation.
There is a plan to reduce a backlog in deferred maintenance. In 2010, the Deficit Commission
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is a Presidential Commission created in 2010 by President Barack Obama to identify "…policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run."...

 recommended admission fees, which has been resisted.

Office of Protection Services (OPS)

The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services oversees security at the Smithsonian facilities. The Secretary of the Smithsonian may designate employees to have Special Police Status to enforce regulations within the Smithsonian facilities and grounds as well as areas of the National Capital Parks in D.C.

According to , Smithsonian staff who are designated as Special police have arrest authority within the Smithsonian buildings and grounds, and may enforce laws and regulations for National Capital Parks together with the United States Park Police
United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

.

The Office of Protection Services has three main positions within the division, all of which are U.S. government positions:
  • Smithsonian Museum Protection Officers/Guards;
  • Smithsonian Museum Physical Security Specialists and Supervisory Physical Security Specialists; and
  • Smithsonian Zoological Park Police Officers are assigned to the 163 acre (0.65963818 km²) National Zoo in the District Of Columbia.

See also


Further reading

  • Nina Burleigh, Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson, John Quincy Adams, and the Making of America's Greatest Museum, The Smithsonian, HarperCollins
    HarperCollins
    HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

    , September 2003, hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN 0-06-000241-7

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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