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Profile Last Updated: 01/04/2021 Grant Information Last Updated: 02/23/2021

Smithsonian Institution

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Purpose and Activities

The institution supports the increase and diffusion of knowledge by maintaining research and collections that provide an education in the arts, sciences, and history.


Established in 1846 in DC - Founded at the bequest of the late James Smithson, who was a British mineralogist and scientist. Among Smithson's contributions to mineralogy were the discovery of the chemical composition of zinc carbonates, and the invention of the term silicate to describe a specific type of mineral. After his death in 1829, his estate was left "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men"


Smithsonian Institution

Public charity




Contribution Receipt Center PO Box 98096 Washington, DC United States 20077-9804

Contact Information