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Friday, May 4, 2012

Exhibiting History

Spencer Fullerton Baird, 1867
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Over thirty years ago today, the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) hosted its very first exhibition. The exhibit, honoring the Smithsonian’s second Secretary, Spencer Fullerton Baird, opened in the Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or “Castle.” The exhibit, which included text and images, honored Baird’s accomplishments not only as Secretary, but also as the Smithsonian’s first curator of the U.S. National Museum.

Today, SIA continues to share the Institution’s history through exhibitions. Some are more traditional and are displayed in exhibit spaces across the Institution, while others have embraced modern media. See for example More Than Meets the Eye: Scientists Looking at the Natural World, currently on display in the National Museum of Natural History.  Many of SIA’s exhibits are now displayed on our new website.  From our exhibits page, visitors can explore Smithsonian history, learn about Smithsonian expeditions, and discover new and interesting facts about the Institution. Baird even has two exhibits now, dedicated to sharing his impact on the Smithsonian and his dream of building a U.S. National Museum that rivaled any in the world.

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