As you can tell from my blog posts, I love to share information about Washington DC’s extensive selection of museums. Many of our best museums here are part of the Smithsonian Institution (SI), which is the world’s largest museum and research complex. Here in DC, we have 18 SI museums. But did you know there are also two in New York City? Like all their counterparts in the nation’s capital, there’s no admission fee!
- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (re-opened in 2014)
- National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center (since 1994)
There are also more than 200 SI Affiliate organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and Panama, all working together to preserve our heritage, expand knowledge, and inspire learning. And they’re not only museums–they’re science centers, historical societies, universities, children’s museums, archives and libraries, and aquariums too. You can think of it as SI in your neighborhood! To search for a Smithsonian exhibition near you, visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
The Smithsonian Institution shares their exhibits and collections, collaborates on important research projects, and develops innovative educational strategies at local and national levels. Some of the research facilities they manage are listed below.
- National Museum of the American Indian, Cultural Resources Center (CRC) – Suitland, MD
- Archives of American Art – DC & NYC
- Astrophysical Observatory – Cambridge, MA
- Conservation Biology Institute – Front Royal, VA
- Environmental Research Center – Edgewater, MD
- Marine Station at Fort Pierce – Fort Pierce, FL
- Museum Conservation Institute – Suitland, MD
- SI Archives – Washington, DC
- Tropical Research Institute – Panamá (Central America)
If you’re planning programming for your collegiate or alumnae chapter, consider a visit to one of SI’s museums, affiliates, or research facilities. If you’ve already been to one (or more) of them, please share your experience in the comments below.