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Encyclopedia > Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle" on the National Mall serves as the Institution's headquarters.
The Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle" on the National Mall serves as the Institution's headquarters.

The Smithsonian Institution (pronounced [smɪθ.ˈso.ni.ˌən]) is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its shops and its magazine. Most of its facilities are located in Washington, D.C., but its 19 museums, zoo, and eight research centers include sites in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere. It has over 142 million items in its collections. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 483 pixel Image in higher resolution (5092 × 3073 pixel, file size: 5. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 483 pixel Image in higher resolution (5092 × 3073 pixel, file size: 5. ... The Castle The Smithsonian Institution Building, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, houses the Smithsonian Institutions administrative offices and information center. ... Facing east across the Mall with ones back towards the Lincoln Memorial. ... Smithsonian can refer to: the Smithsonian Institution, a museum in Washington, DC the Smithsonian Institution Building Smithsonian (magazine), a magazine published by the Institution Smithsonian (Washington Metro), a station of the Washington Metro approximate to the Institution The Smithsonian Institution (novel), a novel by Gore Vidal 3773 Smithsonian, an asteroid... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... ... A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution, with the stipulation that it be invested, and the principal remain intact. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


A monthly magazine published by the Smithsonian Institution is also named the Smithsonian. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Smithsonian is a monthly magazine published by the Smithsonian Institution of the United States in Washington, DC External link Smithsonian webpage Categories: Smithsonian Institution | United States magazines | Stub ...


Smithsonian Networks is a new multiplatform network that uses Smithsonian archives and resources to create original HD programming. Smithsonian Networks (SNI/SI) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. ...

Contents

History

The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge by a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson (17651829), who had never visited the United States himself. In Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the United States of America for creating an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to 104,960 gold sovereigns, or USD 500,000 ($9,235,277 in 2005 U.S. dollars after inflation). James Smithson, FRS, MA (c1764 – June 27, 1829) was a British mineralogist and chemist noted for having left a bequest in his will to the United States of America, which was used to initially fund the Smithsonian Institution. ... Year 1765 (MDCCLXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... | Come and take it, slogan of the Texas Revolution 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Andrew Jackson (disambiguation). ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Three Gold Sovereigns with a Krugerrand A Gold Sovereign is a British gold coin, first issued in 1489 for Henry VII, generally with a value of one pound sterling. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ...


Eight years later, Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, a hybrid public/private partnership, and the act was signed into law on August 10, 1846 by James Polk. (See 20 U.S.C. § 41 (Ch. 178, Sec. 1, 9 Stat. 102).) The bill was drafted by Indiana Democratic Congressman Robert Dale Owen, a Socialist and son of Robert Owen, the father of the cooperative movement. is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795–June 15, 1849) was the eleventh President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849. ... Title 20 of the United States Code outlines the role of education in the United States Code. ... Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  Ranked 38th  - Total 36,418 sq mi (94,321 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 270 miles (435 km)  - % water 1. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. ... A Congressman or Congresswoman (generically, Congressperson) is a politician who is a member of a Congress. ... Robert Dale Owen (November 7, 1801–June 24, 1877) was a longtime exponent in his adopted United States of the socialist doctrines of his father, the Welshman Robert Owen, as well as a politician in the Democratic Party. ... Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... Robert Owen (May 14, 1771 – November 17, 1858) was a Welsh socialist and social reformer. ... A cooperative (also co-operative or co-op) is an association of persons who join together to carry on an economic activity of mutual benefit. ...


The crenellated architecture of the Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall has made it known informally as "The Castle". It was built by architect James Renwick, Jr. and completed in 1855. Many of the Institution's other buildings are historical and architectural landmarks. Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer's donation of his private collection for Freer Gallery, and funds to build the museum, was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual. Crenellation (or crenelation) is the name for the distinctive pattern that framed the tops of the walls of many medieval castles, often called battlements. ... The Castle The Smithsonian Institution Building, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, houses the Smithsonian Institutions administrative offices and information center. ... Facing east across the Mall with ones back towards the Lincoln Memorial. ... James Renwick, Jr. ... “Detroit” redirects here. ... Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) 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. ...


Though the Smithsonian's first secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, before long it became the depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections.


The voyage of the U.S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842. The United States Exploring Expedition amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 examples, shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater and ethnographic specimens from the South Pacific. These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by the military and civilian surveys in the American West, such as the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts as well as natural history specimens. USN redirects here. ... The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean (the Southern Seas) conducted by the United States Navy from 1838–1842. ... Native Americans of the Tohono Oodham (Papago) Tribe, from the Report The United States and Mexican Boundary Survey (1848-1855) set the boundary between the United States and Mexico according to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War. ... The Pacific Railroad Surveys (1853-1855) explored possible routes for a transcontinental railroad across North America. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ...


The Institution became a magnet for natural scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. Megatherium Club - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


The asteroid, "3773 Smithsonian" is named in honor of the Institution. 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... 3773 Smithsonian is a small main belt asteroid. ...


Administration

The Smithsonian Castle doorway
The Smithsonian Castle doorway

The Smithsonian Institution is established as a trust instrumentality by act of Congress, and it is functionally and legally a body of the federal government. More than two-thirds of the Smithsonian's workforce of some 6,300 persons are employees of the federal government. The Smithsonian is represented by attorneys from the United States Department of Justice in litigation, and money judgments against the Smithsonian are also paid out of the federal treasury. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 400 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1200 × 1800 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 400 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1200 × 1800 pixel, file size: 2. ... In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more... The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C. “Justice Department” redirects here. ...


The nominal head of the Institution is the Chancellor, an office which has always been held by the current Chief Justice of the United States. The affairs of the Smithsonian are conducted by its 17-member board of regents, eight members of which constitute a quorum for the conduct of business. Eight of the regents are United States officials: the Vice President (one of his few official legal duties) and the Chief Justice of the United States, three United States Senators appointed by the Vice President in his capacity as President of the Senate, and three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. The remaining nine regents are "persons other than Members of Congress," who are appointed by joint resolution of Congress. Regents are allowed reimbursement for their expenses in connection with attendance at meetings, but their service as regents is uncompensated. The day-to-day operations of the Smithsonian are supervised by a salaried "Secretary" chosen by the board of regents. A Chancellor is the head of a university. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch... Seal of the office of the Vice-President of the United States The Vice President of the United States is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President. ... The House of Representatives is the larger of two houses that make up the U.S. Congress, the other being the United States Senate. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the...


Secretaries of the Smithsonian

  1. Joseph Henry,18461878
  2. Spencer Fullerton Baird, 1878–1887
  3. Samuel Pierpont Langley, 1887–1906
  4. Charles Doolittle Walcott, 19071927
  5. Charles Greeley Abbot, 19281944
  6. Alexander Wetmore, 1944–1952
  7. Leonard Carmichael, 19531964
  8. Sidney Dillon Ripley, 1964–1984
  9. Robert McCormick Adams, 1984–1994
  10. Ira Michael Heyman, 1994–1999
  11. Lawrence M. Small, 2000–2007
  12. Cristián Samper (Acting Secretary), 2007

Cristián Samper is the first Latin American to hold the position. Born in Costa Rica, he was raised in Colombia from the age of one. He received his Bachelor's degree in Biology from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is one of the founders of the Von Humboldt Institute in Colombia, and since 2003 has been the director of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Joseph Henry Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) was a Scottish-American scientist. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Spencer Fullerton Baird Spencer Fullerton Baird (February 3, 1823 – August 19, 1887) was an American ornithologist and ichthyologist. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... Samuel Pierpont Langley. ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Charles Doolittle Walcott (March 31, 1850 - February 9, 1927) was an eminent American invertebrate paleontologist. ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Charles G. Abbot, at the 9th Annual Aircraft Engineering Research Conference, 1934 Charles Greeley Abbot (May 31, 1872 Wilton, NH – December 17, 1973, Washington D.C.) was an American astrophysicist, astronomer and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Frank Alexander Wetmore (June 18, 1886 _ December 7, 1978) was an American ornithologist and avian paleontologist. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Leonard Carmichael (1898 — 1973) was a U.S. educator and psychologist. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... Sidney Dillon Ripley (20 September 1913 - 12 March, 2001 ) was an ornithologist. ... This article is about the year. ... Robert McCormick Adams Jr. ... This be the Danster with a few new trickoms ahahahahahahahahahahahahah Hace fun life life // January 1 - NAFTA goes into effect. ... Ira Michael Heyman is an Emeritus Professor of Law and of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. ... This article is about the year. ... Lawrence M. Small was the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Motto: Bogotá, 2600 metros más cerca de las estrellas Bogotá, 2600 meters closer to the stars Localities (localidades) of Bogotá Country Department Foundation August 6, 1538 Government  - Mayor Luis Eduardo Garzón, PDA Area  - City 1,587 km²  (612. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... Inside the National Museum of Natural History, underneath the rotunda. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


See The Secretaries of the Smithsonian Institution


Smithsonian museums

A variety of aircraft displayed at the National Air and Space Museum. Most notable: Ford Trimotor and Douglas DC-3 (top and second from top)

Image File history File linksMetadata Air_and_Space_Planes. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Air_and_Space_Planes. ... Ford Trimotor G-CYWZ of the Royal Canadian Air Force. ... The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft, which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s and is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made (also see Boeing 707 and Boeing 747). ...

Washington, DC

The Anacostia Museum is the Smithsonian Institutions museum of African American history and culture, located in and focused on the Washington, DC neighborhood of Anacostia. ... Entrance to the Sackler Gallery. ... The Arts and Industries Building is the second oldest of the Smithsonian museums. ... The entrance to the Freer Gallery. ... The exterior of the Hirshhorn Museum The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum located in Washington, DC on the National Mall and designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft. ... National Air and Space Museum exterior The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution is a museum in Washington, D.C., United States, and is the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. ... The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a proposed Smithsonian museum, to be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. The Smithsonians Board of Regents has selected a site for the museum, located at the southwest corner of Constitution Avenue and 14th Street, NW... The National Museum of African Art is a museum that is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.. Located on the National Mall, the museum specializes in African art and culture. ... The National Museum of American History is a museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution and located in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. ... National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., viewed from the northeast Interior view looking down toward the entrance. ... Inside the National Museum of Natural History, underneath the rotunda. ... The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in Washington, DC. It has been part of the Smithsonian Institution since 1968. ... The National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. is located across the street from Union Station and houses many interactive displays about the history of the United States Postal Service and of mail service around the world. ... The interior of the museum is a small, round area that descends for several stories. ... The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a museum in Washington, D.C. with an extensive collection of American art. ... The Castle The Smithsonian Institution Building, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, houses the Smithsonian Institutions administrative offices and information center. ... The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo or Washington Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington, D.C. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). ... The West building of the National Gallery of Art with the East building visible behind and to to the left The National Gallery of Art is an art museum, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum was established in 1937 by the Congress, with funds for...

New York, NY

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated to contemporary design and design history. ... The George Gustav Heye Center is the branch in New York City of the National Museum of the American Indian, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. ...

Chantilly, VA

  • National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

In addition, there are many museums that are Smithsonian affiliates. Entrance to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Aerial view of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia. ...


Smithsonian research centers

The following is a list of Smithsonian research centers, with their affiliated museum in parentheses.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it is joined with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). ... The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Carrie Bow Marine Field Station serves as a base for scientists working with the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems program. ... The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) conducts an active research program in planetary and terrestrial geology and geophysics using remote sensing data from Earth_orbiting satellites and manned and unmanned space missions. ... The Conservation and Research Center is a research extension of Washingtons National Zoological Park, itself a part of the Smithsonian Institution. ... Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) P.O. Box 28 • 647 Contees Wharf Road • Edgewater, Maryland 21037-0028 443-482-2200 http://www. ... http://nationalzoo. ... http://www. ... The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (or Wilson Center) was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by act of Congress in 1968. ... This article needs to be wikified. ...

In popular culture

The Jeffersonian Institute in the television show Bones is based on the Smithsonian Institution. A miserable stubborn cantankerous old mans, whos actually quite good humoured & an enjoyable compadre to play online alongside if you catch him on a good day. ...


It is also mentioned in the eighth Star Trek movie, Star Trek: First Contact, where Captain Jean-Luc Picard says he has seen the Phoenix, humanity's first faster-than-light spaceship, in the Smithsonian (the institution presumably having survived to the twenty-fourth century). The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount Pictures, 1996; see also 1996 in film), is the eighth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... Jean-Luc Picard is a fictional human Star Trek character portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart. ... The Phoenix In the science fiction series, Star Trek, the Phoenix was the first man-made spacecraft to travel beyond the speed of light. ...


Criticism

The Smithsonian Institution has been criticised for strong copyright restrictions[1][2] imposed on its image collections which overwhelmingly consist of public domain content dating to the 19th century. An image without a Smithsonian watermark and at a resolution suitable for publication requires an expensive licensing fee, manual approval by the Smithsonian staff, and the restriction of any further use without permission. This conflicts with the institution's own policy in a 2005 memo, in which it asserted, "The Smithsonian cannot own copyright in works prepared by Smithsonian employees paid from federal funds",[3] as well as the institution's own charter by the U.S. Congress to "increase and diffuse knowledge."


Further reading

  • Nina Burleigh, Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson, John Quincy Adams, and the Making of America's Greatest Museum, The Smithsonian, HarperCollins, September 2003, hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN 0-06-000241-7
  • Heather Ewing (2007). The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9780747576532. 

HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. ... Bloomsbury may refer to: Bloomsbury, London, an area in the centre of the city the Bloomsbury group, an English literary group active around from around 1905 to the start of World War II. the Bloomsbury Gang, a political grouping centred on the local landowner, John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford...

References

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Smithsonian

  Results from FactBites:
 
Smithsonian Institution - LoveToKnow 1911 (1138 words)
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, an American institution of learning in Washington, D.C., founded by the bequest of James Smithson, who seems to have known of Joel Barlow's plan for a national institution of learning in the city of Washington in accordance with George Washington's recommendation in his farewell address of 1796.
By acts of Congress of the 2nd of March 1889 and the 30th of April 1890 the National Zoological Park was established under the Institution; and in a park of 266 acres in the valley of Rock Creek a small collection was installed.
The oldest building, that of the Institution proper, was erected in 1847-1855; it is Seneca brown stone in a mingled Gothic and Romanesque style, designed by James Renwick, and occupies the S.W. corner of the grounds.
Smithsonian Institution - MSN Encarta (511 words)
The Smithsonian was founded in 1846 by an act of the Congress of the United States under the terms of the bequest of British scientist James Smithson.
As one of the world’s leading research institutions, the Smithsonian advances knowledge in fields as diverse as American art, tropical organisms and ecosystems, the care and preservation of museum objects, and the study of comets and asteroids.
A hallmark of the Smithsonian is its accessibility.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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