Smithsonian Channel

Now available in the UK and Ireland

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We bring you award-winning programming inspired by the world's largest museum and research complex. This is the place for fascinating stories, powerful documentaries and factual entertainment that explore air and space, history, science, nature and wildlife, pop culture and more.

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About the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)

The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846 by an act of the U.S. Congress, using funds given by British scientist James Smithson (1765-1829). He never stepped foot in America, yet Smithson admired this budding nation and bequeathed his estate for the creation "at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." He could not have foreseen the breadth of discovery and scholarship that arose from his bequest, yet his legacy has grown into the world's largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centres, the National Zoo and 21 libraries.

The Smithsonian's scientists and scholars work in 140 countries, including the United Kingdom, to preserve cultural heritage and biodiversity, explore space, save species and elevate the arts. Its museums are the steward of a national collection, which has more than 154 artifacts, works of art and specimen from the United States and around the world.

The Smithsonian Charitable UK Trust (charity #1147674) was established in 2012 to support projects that advance the Smithsonian's scholarship, experience and resources. The Trust is funded by charitable donations from UK donors.