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

Found 889 Collections


Subject: Civil War Photography: Seville CDV Collection


This collection of cartes-de-visite portraits of Union soldiers is the Seville collection in the National Museum of American History’s Photographic History Collection. The collection was donated in 1931 by Smithsonian employee Marian Wells Seville, a Smithsonian library cataloger and assistant. Seville's father, Captain William P. Seville, served with the 1st Delaware Volunteers during the Civil War. Throughout the war, he obtained these photographs of the men with whom he served. Seville authored, The History of the First Regiment, Delaware Volunteers: From the Commencement of the “Three Month’s Service” to the Final Muster Out at the Close of the Rebellion, in 1884. 

The biographies of nearly all the subjects in this collection are attached to the record. Follow the links to "more info" after clicking on each image.

For more images, search

Keywords: Civil War soldier, men in uniform, carte-de-visite, studio portraiture, mustache, military weapons, surgeon, surgeon-general., general, quartermaster, captain, heroics, Smithsonian history, women collectors, women donors, women librarians, use of photography

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Domestic Kitchens


This is an assortment of photographs featuring domestic kitchens from the Photographic History Collection. The photographs appear in many different formats and process, and were created by professional and amateur photographers for a variety of purposes, such as commercial, advertising, documentary, social commentary, snapshot, and humor. 

For this collection, "kitchen" was considered as a space within the home, a place in which food was cooked for non-military and non-commercial purposes, outdoor kitchens and cooking, and things found in kitchens. 

Additional Photographic History Collection Learning Lab collections related to food include, Food, Eateries, Agriculture, and Meals and Eating.

For additional images, search

Keywords: kitchen, kitchen table, stove, sink, dishes, meal, cooking, meal preparation, baking, pot, pat, knife, spoon, fork, bowl, grilling, barbecuing, outdoor kitchens.

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Eateries


This is a sampling of photographs related to dining out from the Photographic History Collection.

For additional images, search

Keywords: restaurant, cafe, bar, dining room, diner, waiter, waitress, serving staff, hostess, ice cream shop, burger joint, pizza joint, pizzeria, food court, cafeteria, food hall, drive-through, fast food, coffee shop, saloon, canteen, chop house, grill, lunch room, watering hole, inn, dive, drive in, donut house, greasy spoon, hamburger stand, luncheonette, night club, soda fountain, deli, bistro, automat, tea house, beer garden, biergarten

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Hotels and Motels


This is a sampling of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to hotels and motels, and other established places one might stay while away from home. 

These images are snapshots, real photo postcards,albumen and Kromscope stereoviews, fine art and documentary photographs, scans from glass plate negatives.

For additional images, search

Keywords: hotels, motels, inns, spas, resorts, road trip, vacation, haciendas, roadside lodging

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Television


This is an assortment of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to television. This collection has three groups of photographs. 

  1. Photographs of television content. These are photographs of images on television screens.
  2. Photographs of televisionsThese are photographs of televisions and people watching television.
  3. Photographs of television production. These are photographs depicting the making of television content and in television studios.

For additional images, search

Keywords:  TV, television, tv shows, watching tv, television furniture, making tv, television repair, television and news events, breaking news, television camera, television personalities, late night television, comedy, sport TV, sports television, ABC, NBC, CBS, cable television, Christmas trees, living room

Keywords (people): Richard Nixon, Johnny Carson, Joe Garagiola, George Wallace, Elliott Erwitt, J. Ross Baughman, Ken Regan, Roone Arledge, AV Weston, President William Clinton

Keywords (photography): snapshot, press print, documentary photography, fine art photography, photojournalism

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Surrender at Appomattox

This is a lesson designed around the portrait "The Room in the McLean House, at Appomattox Court House, in which General Lee Surrendered to General Grant," and is intended to be used when teaching about General Lee's surrender. #npgteach
Jamie Grace

Symbolism and Self-Portraiture Like Kehinde Wiley

After using the "Seven Ways to Look at a Portrait" strategy, students create self-portraits in the style of Kehinde Wiley that incorporates study symbolism, self-identity narrative, and reflection on the poses of traditional American portraiture. This lesson requires access to computer technology, a camera (mobile phone is fine), a green screen background, a green screen phone app or program, and ideally a printer.

Amy Leserman



Rachael Lim


Christina Ratatori

Taking a Stand: African American Civil Rights Movement

This collection brings together photographs, objects, films, articles and more - pinpoint milestones in the African American Civil Rights Movement. Section topics include: Brown vs. Board; Freedom Rides; the Selma to Montgomery March; and additional figures and events in the African American Civil Rights Movement. Each section is introduced with a standalone text tile that summarizes the resources held within the section.

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

Carolyn Hilyard

Teaching Literary Devices through Art

A good visual can often be the key to understanding (and remembering) a seemingly abstract concept. This collection demonstrates how artworks in the Smithsonian American Art Museum may be used to teach common literary devices in the English/language arts classroom such as metaphor, irony, symbolism, and more.

Key words: allegory, allusion, anthropomorphism, foreshadowing, irony, juxtaposition, metaphor, mood, motif, satire, suspense, symbol

Phoebe Hillemann

Teaching The Great Gatsby with Informational Texts


This collection complements teaching The Great Gatsby using the lens of economics. Informational texts provide foundation for questions like: why should we care about economic inequality?

Cristi Marchetti

Teaching with Haitian Art and Heritage with Frost Collection

Understanding Haitian Culture though Art

This lesson will support teaching Haitian traditions and culture through the Frost Art Museum collections. It will also provide a look into cultural identity, Haitianite supported by research conducted by two FIU faculty members .  The PowerPoint will expand on Haitian history and the notes will add talking points. The  Miami Dade County Public School lessons support various investigations from the past to the present.

Connections to the Polish Black Virgin demonstrate the spread of culture and religious beliefs that traveled as countries were conquered.


Teaching with the Smithsonian Learning Lab: A Workshop for George Washington University Faculty and Graduate Students

For the workshop, Teaching with the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab – Millions of Resources at Your Fingertips! (January 8, 2020), this is a collection of digital museum resources and instructional strategies.  It includes a warm-up activity, a close-looking exercise, and supporting materials for participants to create their own teaching collections. 

This collection was co-created with Tess Porter


Philippa Rappoport

Technology: Unstacked

UNSTACKED is a wonderful way to spark inquiry, analysis, and discussion. By visually exploring our images, you can bring the Smithsonian Libraries' collections into your classroom. Use UNSTACKED as a morning exercise, a way to introduce a new topic, or to discover your students' interests. Picture your world, dive into the stacks! 

The research and creation of this project was funded by the Gates Foundation Youth Access Grant.

Smithsonian Libraries

Tell Me a Story: The Human Imperative for Narrative

In this collection, I am exploring the connections between storytelling and art.  I will also look at the connection of storytelling to neuroscience and the effects of storytelling on the human brain. I will be referencing the work of Will Storr (The Science of Storytelling), neuroscientists, psychologists and resources from institutions such as the Smithsonian, The National Gallery of Art, The British Museum, National Geographic, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.  I will look at how artists use content, meaning, and context to create narrative within their particular medium.

Research suggest that language developed as a way to convey "social information", gossip. Furthermore, it is documented that curiosity kicks the dopamine reward signal in the human brain.  Will Storr in his 2019 book, gorgeously researched and perfectly titled The Science of Storytelling tells us that psychologist Jonathon Haidt says the brain is a 'story processor' not a 'logic processor'.  All of this tells us that humans are hardwired to tell and receive stories.  

How do artists tell stories?  Both Storr and Kidd tell us that psychologist Dr. George Lowenstein asserts there are four ways to induce curiosity in the human brain: questions or puzzles; a sequence of events without revelation of the "end"; "violation of expectations that triggers a search for an explanation"; or knowing that someone else knows something and you want to know it too.  One could almost use these as headings to categorize art and and artistic movements.  Artist capture a moment in time that prods human curiosity, in some cases for thousands of years, to create the rest of the story of that suspended juncture.

The audience for this collection might be students of psychology or English.  It could be of interest to creators of story including novelists, playwrights, actors, screenwriters, musicians, and visual artists.  And anyone interested in what Storr termed as "the science of the human condition".

Will Storr writes, "One benefit of understanding the science of storytelling is that it illuminates the 'whys' behind the 'rules' we're commonly given...Knowing why the rules are the rules means we know how to break them..."


Dunbar, Robin et al. Evolutionary Psychology. One World Publications, 2005.

Kidd, Celeste, and Benjamin Y Hayden. “The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity.” Neuron vol. 88,3 (2015): 449-60. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.010

Storr, Will. The Science of Storytelling. London: William Collins, 2019.



Telling Myth with art

An in-class activity for a college level Intro to Mythology course that has students consider how mythology is not only passed on through oral or written word, but also through art.  #MCteach

Megan Howard

Telling the Tale of the “Other”: The Effect of Artist Identity on Storytelling

This set of activities is designed to encourage students to think critically about how an artist’s race, background, and experiences might impact their ability to fairly and accurately tell the story of a different person or group - an "other." 

Specifically, students will look at the creations of two white men - the painting Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington by George Catlin and the novella The Pearl by John Steinbeck - to analyze how the whiteness of these two artists might have affected their ability to fairly portray the indigenous people they sought to memorialize. Using primary source texts written by the artists themselves, students will conduct an inquiry into the possible motives and biases of these men in order to assess whether they, as white outsiders to the groups on which they focused, did or even could tell their stories accurately. The question students will be tasked with answering in writing as a culminating exercise is whether a white man can fairly and accurately tell the story of an indigenous people? 

In terms of purpose, the study of the painting is intended to supplant a traditional anticipation guide to help students prepare to read The Pearl and also to provide a lens through which to analyze the text.


Sarah Parham-Giannitti

Tenement Flats and the Great Depression

Subject: Language Arts

Age: 6th gifted - 8th regular classroom


1. Students will be able to relate to the working class struggles of people living during the Great Depression.

2. Students will be able to use this understanding as an introduction to themes from the historical fiction novel No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt.

Yolanda Toni

Tennessee Williams: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Tennessee Williams, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  


  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as Time Magazine, stamp, etc.).
  • Having read one of his plays, does the portrait capture your image of Tennessee Williams? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Tennessee Williams, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: mississippi, ms, play, author, streetcar named desire, writer

Tess Porter

Textured Portraits

Students will analyze portraits for the message or expression communicated through portraits with exceptional texture. Contributing to a discussion with the 30 second look, students will look at an image from the 2016 Outwin exhibit to look deeper and explore and infer the artist's intent and interpret meaning. Students will utilize previously made photobooth self-portraits to begin exploration of Photoshop filters. Each student will create a new and originally produced textured portrait. Further extensions to analyze portraits include: conversation extender and contrast and compare. #NPGteach
Jennifer Fox

Thanksgiving for English Teachers

A learning resource for students about Thanksgiving. The images in this collection are different portrayals of aspects of Thanksgiving from 1863 during the Civil War to the 1970s.
Michelle Smith

Thanksgiving menu

MrsK Shealy

The Amendments

Students will make connections between art and the literature we read in class to the concept of Truth and Justice.

Students will first do a whole class See / Think /Wonder on Amendment 8 by Mark Bradford. They then will choose or be assigned to an amendment and artwork that they will research further. By answering their own See / Think / Wonder about the artwork they will connect meaning of the artwork to the words of their amendment. They will then do further reading and research on their amendment by going to the provided links. Student will answer questions via their class link on the Learning Lab or on the Google Docs document in their online folder.

**The Rockwell painting will be assigned to Amendment 1, Westward Course to Amendment 2, Training for War to Amendment 3 and Independence to Amendment 4.

Yolanda Toni
697-720 of 889 Collections