This thesis explores the changes in the Smithsonian Institution between 1893 and 1993 and how the museum at each time reflects its social environment, through the Smithsonian's self- defined purpose, exhibits, and perceptions of visitors. This was done through archival research, which provided insight into the world of 1893 through museum publications and correspondences, and through interviews with four members of the National Museum of Natural History, which provided a contemporary comparison. The data indicates that the museum is influenced and affected by the social environment in which it is found. A suggestion for future research is a narrower approach, to study more closely and specifically the considerations and influences involved in exhibit renovation.


Frese, Pamela


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

Request Access



© Copyright 1994 Christina Anderson