These records were primarily created by the Office of Exhibits, 1954-1969; the Office of Exhibits Programs, 1969-1973; and the Office of Exhibits Central, 1973-1979. They document a period of intense exhibition activity at the Smithsonian Institution and its bureaus. Especially well represented are permanent and special exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), the National Air and Space Museum (before 1966, the National Air Museum), and the Arts and Industries Building.
This accession includes correspondence, memoranda, exhibit scripts, budgets, specifications for exhibit halls, plans, press releases, annual reports, installation schedules, progress reports, photographs and negatives, publications, and posters. Of special interest are records concerning the United States National Museum's Exhibits Modernization Program during the 1950s and 1960s; the creation and early history of the Insect Zoo at NMNH, circa 1971-1973; the proposed rain forest exhibition at NMNH, circa 1970-1973; the special Smithsonian exhibition, Drugs, 1972; the planning and installation of the initial exhibitions at NMHT, circa 1957-1968; the Laser-10 exhibition at NMHT, 1969-1970; and the installation of the By-Word program at NMNH, circa 1967-1971.