Difference between revisions of "Smithsonian Institution"

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The Smithsonian Institution was foudned in the mid-19th century as an institute for education in the United States. It currently consists of more than a dozen museums in [[Washington DC]], including the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History.  
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The Smithsonian Institution was founded in the mid-19th century as an institute for education in the United States, initially funded by a generous and mysterious bequest by James Smithson, a British scientist who had never visited the [[United States]] or even communicated with anyone there.<ref>James Smithson  named his nephew as beneficiary in his last will and testament. "Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he would in 1835), the estate should go 'to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.'"[http://www.si.edu/about/history.htm]</ref>  It currently consists of more than a dozen museums in [[Washington DC]], including the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. It describes itself as "the world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 16 museums and the National Zoo in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and 2 museums in New York City."<ref>http://www.si.edu/visit/</ref>
  
All of it's museums are free and funded by taxpayer dollars; this means that all americans pay for the museums even if they do not visit, and all foreign visitors do not have to pay and do not pay taxes to support it.
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All of its museums are free and funded by taxpayer dollars; this means that all Americans pay for the museums even if they do not visit, and all foreign visitors do not have to pay and do not pay taxes to support it.
  
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The Smithsonian Institution claims a copyright on its materials, thereby limiting their reuse.  This seems contrary to the [[federal]] law prohibiting a copyright in works of the [[federal]] government, but the Smithsonian Institution claims to have an existence separate from the [[government]] and this claim of copyright has not been tested in court.<ref>http://www.si.edu/copyright/</ref>
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== References ==
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<references/>
 
[[category:museums]]
 
[[category:museums]]
 
[[category:United States Government]]
 
[[category:United States Government]]

Revision as of 15:02, 16 September 2007

The Smithsonian Institution was founded in the mid-19th century as an institute for education in the United States, initially funded by a generous and mysterious bequest by James Smithson, a British scientist who had never visited the United States or even communicated with anyone there.[1] It currently consists of more than a dozen museums in Washington DC, including the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. It describes itself as "the world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 16 museums and the National Zoo in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and 2 museums in New York City."[2]

All of its museums are free and funded by taxpayer dollars; this means that all Americans pay for the museums even if they do not visit, and all foreign visitors do not have to pay and do not pay taxes to support it.

The Smithsonian Institution claims a copyright on its materials, thereby limiting their reuse. This seems contrary to the federal law prohibiting a copyright in works of the federal government, but the Smithsonian Institution claims to have an existence separate from the government and this claim of copyright has not been tested in court.[3]

References

  1. James Smithson named his nephew as beneficiary in his last will and testament. "Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he would in 1835), the estate should go 'to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.'"[1]
  2. http://www.si.edu/visit/
  3. http://www.si.edu/copyright/