The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, 20 libraries, the National Zoo and nine research facilities including the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. The Smithsonian also manages numerous research programs and initiatives including the Artic Studies Center, the Marine Sciences Network and the Institute for Biodiversity Genomics. Its annual budget is $1.3 billion.
Over 130 million artifacts, works of art and specimens are held in the Smithsonian’s collections, the vast majority at the National Museum of Natural History. Through research, onsite and traveling exhibits and events, the Smithsonian promotes understanding of the fundamental nature of the cosmos and the Earth’s geological past and present. Other core priorities include sustaining a biodiverse planet in response to environmental threats, increasing awareness of diverse world cultures and exploring American history, ideals and innovation. In addition to public programming, the Smithsonian offers numerous ways for educators to engage with its content through workshops, curricula, educational tools and informal education methods that support classroom instruction.