Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required

Found 6,946 Collections


Space Junk: Fast Trash

We think of outer space as pretty empty, but that's not the case around planet Earth. There are millions of pieces of man-made debris floating around. This debris causes potential problems for astronauts, satellites, and other important pieces of equipment circling Earth. This fast-paced webcast will look at what's out there and how NASA keeps an eye on it.

February 18, 2015

Katie Johnson

Photographer: Keppler, Victor


The Victor Keppler collection at the NMAH Photographic History Collection consists of 84 color carbro prints, four bromide prints, two dye transfer prints, 23 silver gelatin prints, two transparencies, and various additional ephemera.

For additional materials search,

Keywords: color carbro pigment prints, Eighth Art, color photography, advertising, Saturday Evening Post, Camel cigarettes, Seagram's 7, calendar, ice skaters, food, ice cream, strawberry shortcake, meat, shellfish, portraiture, travel photography, print culture, Christmas cards

Victor Keppler produced the first color photographic cover of two jumping ice skaters for the Saturday Evening Post issued March 6, 1937. He was instrumental in working with print publications to match RGB color of photography to CMYK inks for publication printing. Wine and Cheese was an award winning photograph.

NMAH Photographic History Collection


This collection includes: 

  • Printable Activity Pages (Each on a single theme, include word and number games, art exercises, and fun quizzes. With each activity, kids learn about something new, from the anatomy of the giant squid to the history of chocolate.)
  • Printable Coloring Sheets (Each with different museum objects from across the Smithsonian, including shells, flowers, beasts and more!)

Keywords: puzzles, vocabulary, presidency, elections, animals, play, crosswords, crayons, colored pencils, color

Marge Lucyk

Photographer: Maroon, Fred J.


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection by Fred J. Maroon of the Nixon Presidency.

These photographs are from the exhibition Photographing History: Fred J. Maroon and the Nixon Years, 1970-1974 hosted at the National Museum of American History, July 29- December 5, 1999.

Copyright Fred J. Maroon.

Keywords: gelatin silver prints, photojournalism, photojournalist, documentary photography, impeachment process, Nixon resignation, President Richard M. Nixon, congressional processes, television, current events, historical events, United States history, presidential history, Washington, DC, White House, Capitol Building, Senate hearings

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Metzker, Ray


This is an assortment of photographs from the Photographic History Collection by Ray K. Metzker.

Copyright Ray K. Metzker

For additional images, search

Keywords: modernism, gelatin silver print, street photography, sequencing, narrative, film strip, graphic, breaking the frame, 35mm negative

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Friedman, Glen


This is a collection of photographs by Glen Friedman from the Photographic History Collection.

Copyright Glen Friedman

Keywords: Skateboarding, Run-DMC, Hollis, Beastie Boys, Neil Blender, Jay Smith, Black Flag, Cornell West, Rev. Al Sharpton, Ralph Nadar, Lenora Fulani

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Adams, Ansel


 The Ansel Adams collection in the Photographic History Collection consists of twenty-five photographs, all printed about 1968. All are gelatin silver, mounted, labeled and signed in ink by the photographer. The photographs include many of his most well-known images. The selection of images was made in collaboration between the collecting curator and Adams. The date range of the collection is 1923-1962.

For additional images, search

Keywords: f-64 group, modernism, straight photography, gelatin silver print, Yosemite National Park, the American West, trees, landscape photography, seascape, portraiture

The first twelve photographs in the collection were purchased from Adams in December 1968.  The other thirteen photographs were given to the Smithsonian from Adams in December 1968. 

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is one of the most well-known twentieth century photographers. His contributions to the field of photography include his innovation and teaching of the Zone System. The quality of his photographs set the standard by which many straight photographs are judged.

The works in the collection were used in a Smithsonian exhibition titled, "American Masters," January 26, 1974-September 1, 1975, in the Hall of Photography, National Museum of American History.  The "American Masters" exhibition included recently acquired work by Adams, Lisette Model, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Jerry Uelsmann, Lee Friedlander, Wynn Bullock, Gyorgy Kepes, Paul Caponigro, and Diane Arbus.  Adams had two previous SI exhibitions, one in 1931, and a traveling exhibition in 1956.  There is no documentation stating whether any of these photographs were used in the exhibitions.


NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Fish and Fishing


This is an assortment of photographs related to fish and fishing from the Photographic History Collection.

For additional images, search

Keywords: fish, fishing, fisherman, fishermen, fisherwoman, fisherwomen, fishing pole, seine net, fishing net, seining, crabbing, lobster, salmon, trout, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, competitive fishing, catch of the day, seafood, industrial fishing, canning fish, fish canning factory, fish pond, preservation, hunting, fish wives, eating fish, amateur fishing

Keywords: humor, real photo postcard, exaggeration postcard, fine art photography, documentary photography, photo journalism, Pictorialism, snapshot photography, photo manipulation

NMAH Photographic History Collection

History of Ballet

Historical photos and articles related to ballet from the Smithsonian archives.

Melissa Josef

Formats and Processes: Panorama


This is an assortment of photographs and cameras from the Photographic History Collection related to panorama photography.

The Photographic History Collection (PHC) collection of panoramic objects includes about about 150 panoramic photographs and sixty pieces of panoramic-related equipment including cameras and specialized accessories such as film holders, printing frames, tripods, gear sets, lenses, and film.  The collection is organized into four main groups: 1) Patent and prototype panoramic cameras, 2) standard production panoramic cameras, 3) panoramic photographs, and 4) panoramic related material such as patents, letters, presentations, and books

The smallest panorama is on a real photo postcard at about four inches long; the longest panorama is by Robert Weingarten, Guernica, at 120 inches long.

Keywords (subject): landscape, cityscape, bridge, bedroom, architecture, hurricane, disaster, neighborhood, porch, mailboxes, cafe, river, Washington, DC; Paris, France; Guernica, Spain

Keywords (photography): panorama, panoramic, camera, fine art photography, hand-colored photography, gelatin silver print, salt print, real photo postcard,  Pictorialism, documentary photography, aerial photography, architectural photography

See additional Learning Lab collections for photographers Ashley Gilberston, Anne Noggle, and Friedrich von Martens for additional panoramas.

For additional material, search

Photographers included in this Learning Lab collection:

  • Ashley Gilbertson
  • Alfred W. Hoyt
  • Walter J. Hussey
  • Friedrich von Martens
  • Anne Noggle
  • Titian Ramsay Peale
  • Ken Regan
  • Art Sinsabaugh
  • Robert Weingarten

Cameras use by:

  • Frederick Mueller
  • Louie Palu
NMAH Photographic History Collection

Power and Portraiture

Power and Portraiture highlights the ways in which artists and sitters use portraiture as a means to convey power. By analyzing portraiture, students will consider how power is visualized, gained, used, justified, and revoked. Students will explore the powerful contributions to the history and culture of the United States through portraits of the following individuals:

  • Rosa Parks
  • Belva Lockwood
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver 
  • LL Cool J
  • Henrietta Lacks
  • An Unidentified Enslaved Woman

Objectives: After completing this lesson, students will be better able to: 

  • Examine how modern and contemporary artists use portraiture to reveal aspects of a sitter’s individual, community/cultural, and national identity. 
  • Identify key components of a portrait and discuss what one can learn about the sitter through these components. 
  • Discuss the artistic choices that portrait artists make and consider how such decisions can reveal the artists’ viewpoints and also influence the viewers’ understanding of the sitters’ identity. 
  • Use the museum’s collection as a gateway to investigating and exploring of the visualization of power.


Portraiture, Power, Rosa Parks, Civil Rights, Social Justice, Belva Lockwood, Women's Suffrage, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Disabilities, Special Olympics, LL Cool J, Rap Music, Henrietta Lacks, STEAM, Enslavement, Sally Hemings, #NPGteach

Nicole Vance

How Did Angela Davis Inspire a Movement?

In 1970, activist Angela Davis was charged with murder. A movement arose to free her, and her time in jail Her time in jail inspired her to work to change the prison system. 

Because of Her Story presents a YouTube miniseries where students speak with Smithsonian curators about four women who shaped American history and culture. In How Did Angela Davis Inspire a Movement?, Kemi, a student, talks with Kelly Elaine Navies, oral historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

See more YouTube videos from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, Because of Her Story.#BecauseOfHerStory

Juliana Arechaga

Stanley - The Driverless Car


  • Learn that robots need special sensors to help them understand the world around them
  • Discover that we use our senses to help learn more about the world around us
  • Explore our senses
  • Compare our senses to the senses of Stanley the driverless car
Meredith Osborne

Amazing Ancient Africa

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring Ancient Africa. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can learn about Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mali. There are artifacts to explore and videos to watch. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers

Flashcard Activity: Tools and Innovation

This collection traces innovation in various types of tools over time.  Approach in small groups or as a classroom to have students explore the essential questions: What makes something innovative?  How do you define innovation? 

Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.  This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile). 

Keywords: invention, flash cards, conceptual understanding

Tess Porter

Easy PZ: Zoom In and Voice and Choice

Each Easy PZ collection includes an artwork or museum object and a recorded webinar demonstrating how to use it to develop students' skills with a Harvard Project Zero thinking routine. Supplementary resources provide context relevant to understanding the featured artwork or object.

This collection models the routine "Zoom In ,"  alongside "Voice and Choice" with a museum resource from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. #visiblethinking

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

How Do Real Historical Resources Help Us Understand Fictional Characters? To Kill a Mockingbird

To explore this "essential question," the resources here offer different contexts for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. They can help visualize and comprehend the setting of the book and the social issues of the Depression era in the South. With that understanding, students may better apprehend the choices and values of the characters in the novel.

Supporting question: "What was it like to live in small-town Alabama during that time?"

To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the ficticious Maycomb, Alabama, which author Harper Lee modeled on her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Students may approach the images from the time period and place of the story (1930s) to consider how race and social class make a difference in how one answers that question.

Supporting question: "What important matters were in the news during that time?"

It's not a fact that Harper Lee based the trial in the novel on the Scottsboro boys, but it may have influenced her. Have students look for similarities and differences. What other events were going on? (e.g., Great Depression).

Have students explain how these resources help understand the characters in the novel.

Brenda Sandbulte

Are student rights protected in school?

This collection explores a number of Supreme Court cases all looking at the rights students have in the American public school system. Students will encounter these court cases through primary and secondary sources, videos, photographs, podcasts, and historical objects. At the end of the lesson, students should be able construct an argument based off the compelling question "Are student rights protected in school?"

Brenda Sandbulte

Cameras and Apparatus: Overview


This is a sampling of cameras from the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History.  

For specific cameras and additional collections, search or contact the division.

The Photographic History Collection holds a wide range of cameras, plate holders, tripods, illumination, sensitized materials (papers, plates, film, etc), printing and processing equipment, chemicals, studio furniture, and other accessories and apparatus related to picture making.

Types of cameras in the Photographic History Collection include:

  • Aerial
  • Banquet
  • Box
  • Cell phone
  • Daguerreotype
  • Digital
  • Disposable
  • Folding
  • Field
  • Film (35mm, 4X5, 8X10)
  • Gun
  • Hidden 
  • Instant/ Instamatic
  • Magic Lantern
  • Movie
  • Early Motion Picture (amateur, professional, commercial)
  • Multi-lens
  • Patent Model
  • Pinhole
  • Polaroid
  • Press
  • Prototype
  • School Picture
  • Stereo
  • Spy and subminiature (including toy)
  • Tintype
  • Tri-color
  • Twin-Lens Reflex
  • Underwater
  • Video
  • View 
  • Wet collodion

Cameras, apparatus, and/or studio furniture owned by the followed are included in the Photographic History Collection (excluding patent model associations):

  • Thomas Armat
  • J. Ross Baughman
  • Mathew Brady
  • Chester Carlson
  • William Henry Draper
  • William "Doc" Edgerton
  • Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.
  • Tom Howard
  • Frederick Eugene Ives
  • Charles Frederick Jenkins
  • Edwin Land
  • Eugene Lauste
  • Morrison Studio
  • Samuel F. B. Morse
  • Frederick Mueller
  • Nickolas Muray
  • Eadweard Muybridge
  • Carl Mydans
  • Louie Palu
  • Addison Scurlock/ Scurlock Studio
  • William Henry Fox Talbot
  • Victor Keppler
  • Edward Weston

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Fire Engine vs Fire Pumper


  •  Learn that firefighters are people who help keep you safe
  •  Discover that firefighters use fire trucks to help them get to the fire quickly
  •  Compare familiar firetrucks to the less familiar hand pump fire truck in the museum

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Fire Safety


  • Identify objects that help to prevent fires 
  • Learn what to do if they hear an alarm 
  • Identify objects that are fire hazards
  • Learn to stay 3 feet (two big steps) away from fire hazards
Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Firefighting Dogs


  • Learn about firefighting dogs
  • Walk by a working fire station and make observations
  • Practice identifying different scents 
  • Explore the sense of smell  

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Expressing Emotions


● Identify facial features
● Learn about different ways to communicate
● Discover that the way your face looks can communicate emotions
● Explore different emotions and how faces might look when expressing emotions
● Build empathy by learning how others might express their emotions

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
457-480 of 6,946 Collections