Currently, there are 230 exhibitions in the Smithsonian, but total exhibits are in the millions (“137 million objects, artworks, and specemins”).
On display at the Smithsonians is somewhere around 2% of the total collections. I used to work in the Museum Support Center and it was somewhat of a warehouse for all of the collections. When I left there were 5 football field sized storage rooms (Pods) all about 3-4 stories tall. I remember one Pod had every species of fish ever found in the world. The amount of ethanol was purely terrifying. Dan Brown recently featured the MSC in his latest novel.
While there may be only 2% of the collections on display remember that the Smithsonian constantly has traveling exhibits moving through their doors and these feature collections from museums around the world. So while the Smithsonian might have “x” number of exhibits at any time some don’t even belong to the Smithsonian.
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