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Archives Center

Guest Karel Havelicek

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Guest Karel Havelicek

The National Museum of American History, home to the Archives Center, reopened to the public on November 21, 2008, following an extensive renovation.


The Archives Center, located in a public area on the 1st floor of the Museum, can be reached by both the Mall and Constitution Avenue entrances. Researchers can come directly to the Archives Center from either entrance.


Appointments are required.




Monday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Thursday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


To schedule an appointment and for further information, please call 202-633-3270 202-633-3270 or email archivescenter@si.edu


Before You Come


Confirm the Archives Center has the materials you need.

Search SIRIS (www.siris.si.edu), the Smithsonian Institution’s on-line catalogue.

Call or e-mail to consult with an archivist.

Call 202-633-3270 202-633-3270 to make an appointment.

Make separate arrangements with the curatorial staff to do research in the Museum's artifact collections.

Getting Started


Complete the Archives Center registration form.

First-time researchers must watch a ten minute orientation video.

Laptops and cameras are allowed in the reference room.

Folders and notebooks may not be taken into the reference room.

Consult with the reference archivist if you need to bring notes into the reference room.

Conducting Research


Pencils and paper for note taking are provided.

Review the appropriate printed finding aids.

To request materials complete the container form provided.

Consult with the reference archivist if you find fragile, torn or damaged documents.

Researchers do their own photo copying using the copiers in the reference room. Copies cost $.25/page (Ten free pages each fiscal year).

Personal scanners are not allowed. The reference room staff can provide information on how to obtain scans.

Researchers may use personal cameras. Special arrangements, including completing additional forms, must be made to use the Archives Center copy stand. The reference archivist on duty can provide additional information.

Inform the reference archivist if you need to leave the reading room for any reason.

Before You Leave for the Day


Pay the reference archivist for your photocopies; receipts are provided. The Archives Center accepts cash, checks, and credit cards.

Turn in your container form and check out with the reference archivist.

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