The 10th of August, 2018, marks 172 years since the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution – the world’s largest group of museums and research centers. Taking its name from its founding donor, scientist James Smithson, the institution was created with the purpose of increasing and diffusing knowledge, and greatly contributed to shaping and developing an American national identity rooted in exploration and innovation. Administered by the Government of the United States, the complex boasts an impressive total of 154 million items displayed within 19 museums, 9 research centers and a zoo, mostly located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are situated in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Texas, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts and Panama.
To celebrate 172 years of world-class exhibition, pioneering research and innovative educational resources, we have created the Smithsonian Institution Timeline, which chronologically overviews some of the most important events and inaugural dates in its history.
Originally organized as the United States National Museum, an administrative denomination that ceased to be used in 1967, the institution receives 30 million annual visitors without charge. Two thirds of its annual budget comes from yearly federal appropriations, with other funding ensured by private and corporate contributions, licensing revenue and earned retail.
Established with donations from the Englishman James Smithson in 1846, the Smithsonian was initially intended to be a center for scientific research, but later became the depository for diverse Washington and US government collections as well. The construction of the main building, called the Castle and designed by architect James Renwick Jr., began in 1849 and was finalized in 1855. Gradually, other structures and facilities were added, the latest one being represented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened on the 24th September, 2016.
The Smithsonian Institution chronology was created with Office Timeline, a lightweight plugin for PowerPoint which helps you build stylish timelines, Gantt charts, project schedules and other similar visuals almost instantly. Using the Plus version of the tool, you can further update and style this slide, which is free to copy and share.
Download the Smithsonian Institution Timeline for PowerPoint here.