Last updated: 11/25/2010
14th Street and Constitution Avenue,
Washington, DC 20560
The Museum is open every day except December 25.
The museum stays open on selected nights until 7:30. Check the website for current schedules.
Admission is always free and no tickets are required.
Andrea Lowther, Director, Department of Visitor Services
Start your visit at the Nina and Ivan Selin Welcome Center for information to help you plan your day at the Museum. Here you can find out what programs are happening that day or pick up a map. If you have a specific question or need assistance, ask one of our friendly visitor services staff.
The Museum has more than 3 million artifacts in its collection. Information and photos of selected objects are available in the online collections database. The database is a work-in-progress and new items will be added regularly. A separate database covers archival collections.
The main eatery for the National Museum of American History is the newly renovated Stars and Stripes Cafe, which seats 600 and is large enough to accommodate groups. Menu includes all-American barbeques, soups, salad bar, burgers, pizza and desserts. Cash and credit cards accepted.
A new 6,000-square-foot store is centrally located on the first floor. Visitors may browse through a collection that includes new merchandise inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner, an expanded line of jewelry and a wonderful book selection. Dog tags, toys, note cards, T-shirts and other old favorites are also available.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History dedicates its collections and scholarship to inspiring a broader understanding of our nation and its many peoples. We create opportunities for learning, stimulate imaginations, and present challenging ideas about our country’s past. The Museum collects and preserves more than 3 million artifacts—all true national treasures. We take care of everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat to Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” Our collections form a fascinating mosaic of American life and comprise the greatest single collection of American history.
The National Museum of American History opened to the public in January 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology. It was the sixth Smithsonian building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since then, some 4 million visitors a year have passed through the doors to enjoy the Museum’s exhibitions, public programs, educational activities, collections, and research facilities. Millions more make virtual visits to the Museum’s Web site.
The Museum has recently completed a two-year, $85 million renovation of the building’s center core, dramatically transforming the museum’s architectural appeal while reorganizing and renewing the presentation of its extensive collections. The renovation project focused on three areas: architectural enhancements to the center core, including a grand staircase and a skylight; construction of a new Star-Spangled Banner gallery, and updates to the 44-year-old building’s infrastructure. Since reopening, the Museum has presented new exhibitions and programs to the public. Programming will continue to take center stage with visitors able to encounter historic characters every weekend and on federal holidays as well as experience tours, theater and popular song programs.
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