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Smithsonian Open Access
Welcome
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. We are a community of learning and the opener of doors. Join us on a voyage of discovery and explore and learn online.
Visit
As we gradually reopen the museums, we’re putting safety first and requiring free timed-entry passes at most locations. See our reopening schedule to plan your visit. Outdoor gardens and exhibitions are open.
Even when we are closed, you can visit us from home. Explore our digital resources and learn how Smithsonian cares.
Select a topic to discover featured collections and stories, OR search millions of digital records.
EXPLORE
Art & Design
History & Culture
Science & Nature

Smithsonian Open Access
Digital Backgrounds
Put yourself in the scene! Download high-resolution images to use in your next video meeting or as a computer background.
Smithsonian Spotlight
Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue
The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner—the American flag in our collections.
Smithsonian Stories
It Would Be Shellfish Not to Share These Hermit Crab Facts
This glass hermit crab is blue, which might mean it’s freshly molted.
National Museum of Natural History
Whales
Whales have always captured our hearts—learn more about them and other cetaceans on Ocean Portal.
Smithsonian Snapshot
X-wing Starfighter Stays on Target, Lands at the National Air and Space Museum
"Red Five Standing By!"
Sidedoor Podcast
The Curse of the Hope Diamond
We track the lore of this notorious gem through the centuries, from southern India, through the French Revolution, and to its current home.
Smithsonian Spotlight
Summer Solstice
Celebrating the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere with a look at our sun from art to astronomy to solar energy.
Because of Her Story
LGBTQ+ Women Who Made History
In celebration of Pride Month, we honor LGBTQ women who have made remarkable contributions to the nation and helped advance equality.
Smithsonian Stories
Marsha Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and the History of Pride Month
The first Pride parades marked the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
Sidedoor Podcast
The 1957 Pandemic That Wasn’t
This episode features Dr. Maurice Hilleman and an interview with Dr. Fauci of the NIH, plus a new segment on our current pandemic.
Smithsonian Spotlight
The Art of Rock and Roll
A selection of rock and pop inspired art from concert posters and album covers to objects d'art.
Smithsonian Spotlight
Fabulous Footwear
Along with the Ruby Slippers, the Smithsonian has some fabulous footwear in the collections.
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Over 350 tours and cruises to all seven continents. Let the journey begin.
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Smithsonian American Women Discover Her Story
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access Smithsonian Distance Learning
Programs as diverse as our planet Smithsonian Global: 7 continents. 140 + countries
Smithsonian Folklife Festival: June 25–27, 2021 Beyond the Mall: Making Matters