The National Museum of American History is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections. On behalf of the nation, we preserve and share this extraordinary national collection encompassing everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner to Abraham Lincoln’s top hat; from the first computer bug to the first artificial heart; from Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet to Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Our archival collections include a remarkable array of American history in documents, photographs, and other works, including major holdings on the histories of American business and music.
Our artifacts form a fascinating mosaic of American life and comprise the greatest single collection of American history in the world.
More than ever before, the National Museum of American History shines new light on the transformative power of American history. Our collections, exhibitions, research, publications, and educational programs all support the museum’s basic mission—to use the infinite richness of American history to help people make sense of the present and shape a more humane future—and to make our exhibitions and programs as accessible as possible and engaging to all visitors.