Contact Us

For efficient service, please read through the following list and contact the appropriate office directly.

I would like to donate an object to the Smithsonian Institution. What should I do?

The Smithsonian acquires thousands of objects and specimens each year for its collection holdings through donation, bequest, purchase, exchange, and field collecting. Each museum and curatorial department decides on a case-by-case basis which objects to add to its collections. Donations are accepted only when the item truly complements the collection. We also consider whether we can properly care for an intended donation, as our collections are held in trust for the American people.

If you are interested in donating objects to one of the following Smithsonian museums, please visit the appropriate webpage:

If you would like to donate objects to one of the following museums, please email directly:

Note: the National Museum of African American History and Culture is not currently accepting object donations. 

Under no circumstances should you send us your object without prior written curatorial approval.

How can I find out if the Smithsonian holds a particular object in its collections and where it might be?

The Smithsonian holds nearly 154 million objects in its collections, distributed among its 21 museums, the National Zoo, libraries, research centers, and storage facilities. Many artifacts are donated to the Smithsonian by individuals, private collectors, and federal agencies; others come to the collections through field expeditions, bequests, exchanges with other museums and organizations, and purchases.

Only a small percentage of the Smithsonian’s vast holdings are on view. Many artifacts not on display are stored in collection study areas in the museums and are available to researchers by appointment. Air- and spacecraft are conserved and stored at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air and Space Museum, in Chantilly, Virginia. Other research collections are housed in Landover and Suitland, Maryland, facilities.

Most of our collections have been cataloged in our Collections database. If you don’t find the object you are interested in listed there, please send as much information about the object as you have to; such information as a complete description of the item, its history, how and when it came to the Smithsonian, who donated it, and the museum or facility to which it was donated can help us refer your inquiry to the appropriate collections staff.

Some museums and units may be contacted directly. To either conduct research or inquire about a collection, either send a detailed email or follow instructions at any of the following:

Anacostia Community Museum (email only)

Archives of American Art

Asian Art Museum

Smithsonian Gardens

National Postal Museum


Web: Lost and Found

To report a lost possession, click on the "Lost Property Report Form" inside the link above.

    Air & Space Quarterly

    Smithsonian Magazine

    The Smithsonian does not maintain a centralized mailing list; each membership program maintains its own membership database.

    Supporting Members, Smithsonian Associates, and Friends of the Smithsonian may look up their membership by visiting 

    For specific inquiries, including a change of address, or to stop receiving mail, please contact the appropriate membership program:

    • For general information on using Smithsonian content, please visit our Terms of Use webpage.
    • Each museum and office grants rights to reproduce objects and images in its collections.
    • To determine which museum holds the object or image you are interested in, search our Collections database.
    • For information on how to contact the appropriate office to request rights, please see our Rights, Restrictions, and Security Contacts webpage.
    • To explore and access Smithsonian content that you may download and use without permission visit Smithsonian Open Access.

    Smithsonian Books

    • Web:
    • Email:
    • Phone Orders: 800.733.3000 (Penguin Random House Customer Service)                                                                 

    Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press

    • Web:
    • Email:                                                                                                                       

    DK Smithsonian- published by Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. (not Smithsonian)

    Online Shopping

    (Please note that the Smithsonian Catalog is not representative of merchandise sold in the onsite museum stores.)
    I want to shop the online catalog.
    I want to email the online catalog.
    Phone: 800.322.0344
    I want to speak with someone from the online catalog.

    Museum Stores

    Onsite Shopping (Due to COVID-19 closures, links are not currently available to each onsite museum store.)
    I want to learn more about each of the onsite stores.
    I want to license a product with the Smithsonian brand or pursue a promotional opportunity.
    I want to sell my products in Smithsonian museum stores.

    Smithsonian Journeys

    Smithsonian Channel

      For information on visit-planning, including timed entry passes, please visit:

      For visit-planning and Smithsonian-related inquiries not addressed above:

      • Email:
      • Phone: 202.633.1000  (recorded information/live voice-- Monday-Saturday  10:00am-4:00pm)
      • Address:
        Smithsonian Information 
        PO Box 37012 
        SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010 
        Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
      • Staff Mail:
        Employee name
        Smithsonian Institution
        Building nameroom number (if known)
        PO Box 37012
        Washington, DC 20013-7012

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