The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex. It includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. There are over 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collections, 127 million of these specimens and artifacts are held by the National Museum of Natural History, there are 7.89 million digital records available online through the Collections Search Center and there are 2 million library volumes held by Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
The Smithsonian Institution was established 1846. The museums and research centers are administered by the United States government. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Virginia, Panama, and 168 other museums are Smithsonian affiliates. There are over 30 million visitors annually to the various institutions, and they are admitted without charge. This is due to funding from the Institution’s own endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, government support, and retail, concession and licensing revenues.
With all that is available to see where to you even begin? Here are a few examples of the great wonders that await you. Stargaze at the museum’s Public Observatory at the Air and Space Museum. The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia. Whether you’re interested in space shuttles, military aircraft, rockets, or missiles, the hangars at Udvar-Hazy have got you covered. Diamonds have been said to be forever, and the most famous diamond in the world is the Hope Diamond. Its temporary setting, “Embracing Hope,” designed by Harry Winston to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the jewel’s donation to the Natural History Museum is currently on display. It was chosen from three designs in a competition last year. Want to know the whole story and history of the diamond check out the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary film, “Mystery of the Hope Diamond”.
The museums embrace so many aspects of our culture from pop culture to the history of our country, and are scattered throughout the country, be sure to check if one is located near where you will be traveling to glimpse into our nation’s history.
From history to culture, art to relaxation, explore the world of travel with Tradewinds Vacations.