Washington, Washington DC
The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 as an independent trust instrumentality of the United States holding some 140 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for "the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The Institution is also a center for research dedicated to public education, national service, and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history.
The Smithsonian is composed of sixteen museums and galleries and the National Zoo and numerous research facilities in the United States and abroad. Nine Smithsonian museums are located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. A three-level underground building houses two museums and the S. Dillon Ripley Center, which includes the International Gallery, offices, and classrooms. Five other museums and the Zoo are elsewhere in Washington, D.C., and both the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian are in New York City.
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