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Found 2,011 Collections


Music and Musical Instruments Before 1865

This is a collection of musical instruments and the scores they played. Both American and Native American instruments are included.

ryan salter

Consumer Revolution: Birth of Individualism

This collection represents the rapid succession of a mass popular culture in the eighteenth century, where consumer choices formed an Empire of similar ideas and preferences. The 1700s marked an era of unity in distinct colonies but further revealed the inequalities in class, race, and gender that ultimately led to the American Revolution.

Each piece of the collection is to showcase the cause and effect of consumer revolution on the individual colonist and the colonies as a whole. Specifically, how the growth of a materialistic society impacted production, trade with England, political involvement and social inequality. Moreover, new print technologies contributed to an increase in news, communication, and common knowledge that gives us an understanding of how these people fostered an economy we take advantage of today.


Lin Hsu

American Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism is a philosophy that is rooted in the belief that man is inherently good but has been corrupted by society. Self reliance, self improvement, and peaceful protest were some methods practiced to reverse this effect. 

Linked in this collection are examples of the movement's influence in society, writings, and art.

Katie ODell

Apothecaries in Colonial Times

       This is a collection of apothecaries in Colonial America. Apothecaries in Colonial America had far more abilities other than selling drugs, medicine, and medical advice. Doctors in apothecaries performed surgeries, trained apprentices to become surgeons, midwifing, and concocted medications. Death rates were high during the beginning of Colonial America; however, as the years progress, people begin to discover new ways to help with illnesses. So, this collection of artifacts are meant to represent the medical history and advancements in Colonial times.

       Throughout this collection, you will see many various things such as: medical tools, the apothecaries themselves, medicine containers, medical techniques, and the medicine itself.

1st Picture: This glass bottle was used to store medicine in.

2nd Picture: Workers in apothecaries knew they had to store and preserve medicine and special medicinal liquids, so to prevent anything from getting stolen they kept it in a safe-keeping box.

3rd Picture: This was a special yet common medicinal herb called, Yarrow. It was used to help aid in the female menstrual cycle, wounds, and childbirth.

4th Picture: This picture is an example of a technique a doctor in an apothecary would use to diagnose illnesses.

5th Picture: This bottle was used to distill plant oils (i.e. such as yarrow) for their medicinal use.

6th Picture: This picture shows a common thing used by people that works in the apothecaries. Mortar and pestles were used to grinding up herbs.

7th Picture: This picture depicts how apprentices made medicine. Apprentices had to use recipe books to make all the medicines and herbal potions.

8th Picture: This jar represents a common practice in apothecaries. This leech jar contained leeches for doctors to use, because they believed if they drained the blood of an ill person, it could drain their illness with it.

9th Picture: This document shows how an apothecary could actually be established. This gave permission for the apothecary to make and sell medicines, and help people be cured against all types of human illnesses.

10th Picture: This is a picture of what the interior of what an apothecary looked like.

11th Picture: This is a special type of pottery used for apothecaries, because it has a glassy outer coating to prevent liquids from soaking through.

Esther Pak

Fashion Over Time Through Paintings

Over the course of many years, the style of many people changed have changed. For example, people in the past prefer outfits that gives out a modest aura and by modest I mean minimal exposure of the skin. The reason for the little amount of exposure is because most clothes back in the days are similar to one another and standing out was not something they wanted. Meanwhile, modern day outfits are more revealing and/or comfortable. But in this collection, I will only talk about fashion before the Reconstruction era. 

Fashion has always been a way for many people to express themselves to others. Whether it is to boast about their economic status or maybe just to show how good they look in a certain outfit. In this collection of paintings and artifacts, we will be observing the fashion sense of many people dating from the year 1700 all the way till 1860.

Dennis Nguyen

Documents and Photos of America before Civil War

My collection is a compilation of documents and photos of events happened in the United States History before the period of Civil War. Although not all of the items are made at the time before 1865, the content of these items represents the history figures and events of that time.

 The items are organized in chronological order. As you move through my collection, you will see pictures of Native American people with their interesting culture in dancing, hunting. Then there is an event I consider important in the U.S history, which is tobacco cultivation. This event leads to so much controversial history consequences. Then you will see a some funny pictures of daily life activities of American people in the 18th century: a dressing room, a letter, books about plants and animals discovered in America. The books contain beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions of the environment in the U.S in general. You will also see some silverware in the consumer revolution in the 18th century.

 I hope you enjoy my collection. I had a lot of fun doing the research. Some of the pictures remind me of the long and difficult process of development I hope you have the same experience and thank you for watching.

Quân Uông

Musical Instruments in Colonial Times

This a collection on musical instruments during the colonial times and before 1865. It features seven types of instruments, one instrument box, sheet music to a song, and an image of a piano factory. Through these instruments you can compare and see how different and similar there are to the ones we have today. I just wanted to shed some light on the many types of musical instruments there were and some more information about them.

Ruben Kabamba

Expansion west of the Appalachian Mountains

After the Revolutionary war, the United States became it's own country independent of British rule, and had become a Democratic country, (the title of first democratic nation belonging to Athens, Greece when it was a city state, but the US is one of the oldest modern democracies).

While being unique and everything, the US suffered from many issues at it's birth. One of them being the distribution of land. Under British rule, the colonies could not expand west of the Appalachian mountains under the proclamation act of 1763. While this didn't stop everyone, it did prevent most from expanding west. This caused problems as most of the land in the established boundaries of the colonies was already owned which caused unequal distribution of land. However everything changed after the revolutionary war.

The collection showcases items that relate t


Jose Orozco

Print Culure During the Communications Revolution

This collection shows the significance of printing and technology during the Communications Revolution. This decade serves a great amount of importance today because it gives new technology users the opportunity to discover how printing made a big difference in today's social and artistic panorama. During this time period newspapers, maps, novels, coffeehouses, etc were all essential parts of the Communications Revolution that shaped our technology world today. 

This era not only sought to bring out new ways to communicate, but it also made ancient texts relevant to colonies who were living in more expansive areas which brought people to come up with more creative theories and ideas. According to a article titled, "Technologies of writing," Marshall McLuhan, a philosopher, "rightly notes that the shift from predominantly oral culture to print culture also affected the nature of human consciousness in that print represented an abstraction of though which gave precedence to linearity, sequential, and homo-geniality"("Technologies of Writing"). Throughout the collection, we will look at the different types of communications that have evolved and had a big impact on colonies during this era. 

Destiny Stokes

Elite Colonial Fashion

This collection represents the different types of elite colonial fashion before 1865. During this era, the elite upper class and working lower class had different economic statuses. Due to their economic differences, the elite and working class were able to purchase different styles and materials of clothing. The purpose of this collection is to focus on elite apparel, shoes and jewelry. 

In this collection you will see that elite fashion was very elaborate and detailed. In the elite class, people focused on showing off their wealth. One way of doing so was through what they wore and what their children wore. The materials and details in each clothing piece signify the extent of their wealth. The more elaborate and extravagant the piece of clothing was, the more luxury and wealth it illustrated to society.

Cassidy Hua

Civil War

The Civil war, which lasted from 1861-1865, determined what kind of nation the United States would be and started because the United States had lots of issues with states' rights and slavery after the Constitution was ratified. The northern states and the southern states were once united but the South succeeded the union and made their own country named the Confederate States of America because unlike the North, the South wanted to keep slaves to profit more off of them and the North freed their slaves because at the time Lincoln was president and wanted to abolish slavery. The northern states declared war on the confederate states and beat them in 1865 so slavery was then abolished. 

This is a collection of the things that were used during the civil war. This is proof to show what the armies went through during these times. This is important for viewers to see because it provides resources from the civil war and Americans need this vital information because this was a revolutionary event that happened in the United States.

kinealie rutland

Colonia Life Pre-American Revolution

This collection represents objects that were used in a pre-American Revolution colonist's life with an emphasis on household technology, from the spin-wheel to the printer. This collection also features common goods that could be found in a colonist's household, from their trunks to their dog's collar. 

From most of the textbooks and lectures I have received prior to this semester, it was never a priority to actually talk about a colonist's life. In this collection I give an insight into the minor things that  colonists could have in their home.

Stephanie Brito

Colonial Wigs

During the colonial period, the powdered wig became a symbol. It was a symbol of wealth, status, authority, even occupation. Just from glancing at the style, color, or texture of a person's wig, it could be identified the field of work they were in and their level of wealth. Hair used in the wigs was an immediate giveaway - goat and yak were the lowest price, then horse, and finally human hair was the most expensive wig you could buy. Another way for people to assert their status was not only to wear wigs themselves, but to buy wigs for their slaves - showing that they had wealth to spend on themselves and then some.

The first two videos I included give a brief history on wigs, mostly powdered wigs, and its tie to colonial society and status. Following that, there are a few examples of wig styles and how one of higher wealth would have displayed their wig(s) so that they would remain pristine. Many wealthy people would have multiple wigs, some for formal attire, and daytime attire, and other such events. Then, I showed a few different political cartoon-esque drawings, exaggerating how wigs stood for loyalty to England in some cases (royalty in England were also known to wear wigs) or how next-level some would take the powder, and finally, how those with similar style wigs are often within the same class or occupation.

The concluding three pictures are portraits of well-known leaders - such as James Oglethorpe, George Whitefield, and George Washington. I wanted to conclude this collection with the portrait of George Washington because of the interesting fact that he actually didn't wear a wig. Now, while that may seem reason enough to not include him in this collection, I beg to differ because his hair is still styled like a powdered wig. Those who did not have the money to wear a wig simply powdered down their own hair and added pomade to make it appear as if they were wearing a stylized, expensive wig. George Washington is a perfect example because he is a well-known leader who still follows the styles of the upper-class colonists without completely giving into the trend by buying one.

Cheyenne Trauger

17th Century Virginian Culture

The Seventeenth century began in 1607 and ended in 1776. This colonial period marked a very significant event in the US with the founding of the first English settlers at Jamestown. The seventeenth century ended with the establishment of the commonwealth of Virginia.  It really made a significant impact of the base of early American culture.  This time period saw the beginning of early colonization and the beginning of mainstream things that are modified and used later. 

During this time period, Virigians were very well rooted in enjoying a nice and lively cultural life. In which, this lively cultural life paved the way for early development of the United States.  The following items in this collection represent the lively culture of the Virginians during the 17th century. The collection touches on the the entertainment culture religion , and personal items that were used during this time period that symbolizes early Virginian culture.

lauryn dunmyer

The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials was a mass-hysteria event that started in February 1692 to May 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. However, many historians have argued that it first took place some time in the spring. It all started when a group of young girls were diagnosed with "strange behavior" by a doctor-- and the only doctor-- in Salem. These girls showed signs of hallucinations, jolting movements, and occasional screaming and tantrums, as the doctor proved that it was all due to "supernatural causes." After the diagnosis of those girls, they were taken to court soon after for a testimony of their behavior but was eventually proved not guilty. People began to see others acting in strange manners in a span of a few months, saying that these people have been controlled by the devil. As these people continued to be condemned for witchcraft, the population of Salem decreased due for a crime that was perceived punishable by death. 

As you move into this collection, you will be able to note the artifacts, and the people involved in the Salem Witch Trials. For each item in the collection, it will explain how these items influenced how the Puritans saw witches as people who sided with the devil, and how much they want to keep their land as pure, or holy as possible. 

Anna Dinh

The Leaders of a New World

This collection explores George Washington's personal achievements as well as his personal life. The role of presidency has evolved significantly since his time during the Revolutionary War. He and his wife, Martha Washington, had a relationship unlike any other. She held a crucial role as First Lady and was George's partner through thick and thin, even starting a women's movement to aid soldiers during the war. This collection depicts the struggles of a couple who had to create the foundation of a nation after it was nearly destroyed. Originally a land surveyor in Virginia, George Washington would soon become the leader of the Continental Army and Britain's greatest foe. The impact he and his family made on the U.S. still lingers to this day.

Caleb Floyd

Cherokee Native Americans: Culture & History

This collection gives a small insight into the culture and history of the prideful tribe that is the Cherokee. Included in the collection are representations of the Cherokee culture through certain tools used for hunting game, a staple of their traditional meals, their unique weddings, and a couple forms of art displayed through their jewelry, a woven basket and detailed doll. As for the history, there is the document of a letter from Washington to the Cherokee people, and two portrayals of Cherokee Chiefs during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Cherokee's traditions and culture had been affected greatly by the British and American influence, and eventually they adapted to the new conditions through assimilation. Once allies to the British, the Cherokee had to once again adapt after the end of the Revolutionary War. They had been promised a peaceful resolution in which they would be able to keep a majority of their natural homeland. However, expansion by the Americans led to their relocation and the sorrowful Trail of Tears. They lost many of their personal keepsakes and even some forms of tradition, but through word of mouth and generations of information, their culture lives on.

Christian Wilham

Important events in the Revolutionary War

These are Key events leading up to the revolutionary war. Also there are key events during the war and eventually gaining independience from the British.

Courtney Jackson

Children of Post-Revolution America

The Revolutionary War was not fought on a whim. People had ideals that they were willing to fight and, in some cases, die for. The people who fought the Revolutionary War wanted to change how their lives and the lives of those after them would be. They wanted to make the future theirs. Of course, the most immediate future is always the next generation of children. The minute ways you shape your progeny can change the world in ways that are borderline miraculous.

Each item was chosen because of the impact that it would have on children or because of the impact caused by the children. The quilt, for example, may not have been made specifically for Mary W. Taylor Galt's children, but the stress of raising fifteen children mostly by herself had to be released through some outlet. Caring for children is hard, so she used quilting as her outlet. The various paintings were indicative of the importance of children. Paintings were very expensive at the time, so getting a painting made of your child means that your child has value to you. The small teapot and sugar dish shows that education in manners was important enough to have special dishes made just for that purpose.

The items that I included in this collection are as follows:

  • Child's Breeches
  • Embroidered Quilt
  • Blanket Chest
  • Small Sugar Dish for Children
  • Small Teapot for Children
  • Painting of Girl
  • Painting of Boy with a Finch
  • Painting of Girl in Green
  • Painting of Boy in Plaid
  • Painting of Children Playing
Jilahn Blount

Art Work During The American Revolution

The American Revolution marks one of the most significant points in American history. Art work is a significant indicator of the opinions of the general public during a specific time period. The artwork during this time period is extremly important because it shows the views of not only the colonist during this time period but also what the rest of the world thought of the American Revolution.  The goal of this collection is to further understand the opinions of artist on the American Revolution. 

Rachel Abraham

The Museum Idea

Museums and galleries play an important role in society. They preserve the past, enrich the present, and inspire the future. In this lesson, students will take a close look at museums, why they exist, and what the people who work in them do. By the end of the lesson, student's will create their own "Museum of Me." 

This lesson was inspired by an issue of Smithsonian's Art to Zoo and includes Minecraft: Education Edition extensions. It is part of the  2017 Museum Day Live! STEM Challenge


Museum Day Live!

Building Up, Breaking Down

Explore how buildings age. Discover how physical breakdown (such as rock fracture), chemical weathering, and pollution are all key ingredients in this discussion of the geology of the built environment.

This lesson features an issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, Minecraft: Education Edition extensions, and is part of the 2017 Museum Day Live! STEM Challenge.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Museum Day Live!

Compare and Contrast Looking Strategy: Learning to Look with the National Portrait Gallery

In this collection, we look at portraiture through the lens of comparing and contrasting two portraits. This looking strategy allows participants to consider similarities and differences between two portraits. Consider using portraits of the same individual at two different point in his or her life, portraits by the same artist, or portraits by different artists of similar subject matter.

Included in this collection are examples of portraits National Portrait Gallery educators have had success with when facilitating the compare and contrast looking strategy while teaching in the galleries: Pocahontas, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware and Washington Crossing the Delaware, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, LL Cool J and John D. Rockefeller
Briana White

Corps of Discovery project

Aaliyah Williams
1657-1680 of 2,011 Collections