Adventures with the Smithsonian Institution
In 1909, ex-president Theodore Roosevelt led a safari expedition to East Africa. Funding for the trip was provided by the Smithsonian Institution, and safari included many photographers, naturalists, taxidermists, and their supplies. Edmund Heller and John Alden Loring were some of the Smithsonian team members. While Roosevelt focused on the big game, others collected many rodents, monkeys, lizards, birds, plants, and fish. Overall, 11,000 specimens were collected, preserved, and sent back to the Smithsonian for research and display. Additionally, many photographs were taken by Kermit Roosevelt and Heller for Smithsonian collections. The expedition moved across East Africa, including a stay at Kirinyaga safari camp in British East Africa, guided by Frederick Selous, where they were joined by Richard Medlicot and his guests, the Jones family: Henry Jones, Sr., Anna Jones, Indiana Jones and tutor Helen Seymour.
The Smithsonian later commissioned an unknown archaeologist to catalog the artifacts of the world in the early 1930's. They provided Artifact Template AZ/490.1 for the task, but puzzled the archaeologist with the specific request not to unearth any of the treasures.
Behind the scenes
The real world Smithsonian Institution is likely the basis for the fictional National Museum. Possibly because of intent that the National Museum was meant to replace the Smithsonian in the world of Indiana Jones or due to the lack of rights to use the name.
Later in life, Theodore Roosevelt donated the specimens from his childhood museum to the Smithsonian.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "British East Africa, September 1909" → Passion for Life (Mentioned only)
- British East Africa, September 1909 comic (Mentioned only)
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles trading cards
- Close Encounters of the Random Kind (As 'Smithsonian Institute') (Ambiguously canonical source)
- Indiana Jones Artifacts