Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. As the nation's history museum, we challenge ourselves to become the country's most accessible, inclusive, relevant, and sustainable public history institution.
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.