Detail from Civil War-era letter from the exhibition MAIL CALL. Courtesy the Smithsonian National Postal Museum


Here is a collection of specific terms commonly used when describing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions. It's a useful reference when reading Guidelines for Hosting an Exhibition.



Copy II: A second, identical version of an exhibition.

Crates: The total number of crates required to pack and ship the exhibition (and which must be stored while the exhibit is on view). Crates may contain exhibition structure in addition to objects.

Fully booked: Tour schedule is full; the exhibition is no longer available for booking.

Participation fees: The cost to each exhibitor on the tour. The fee covers SITES administrative and organizational expenses that are not provided by federal appropriations or grants. A deposit of 25 percent is required for all exhibitions. All outgoing shipping costs are additional.

Prorated, SITES-designated carrier: To make shipping costs more equitable for selected exhibitions, SITES prorates anticipated shipping costs equally among exhibitors for the entire tour. SITES handles shipping arrangements by designating a specific carrier to transport the exhibition on a space-reservation or exclusive-use basis, and bills each exhibitor in the month that the exhibition opens. For exhibitions that require climate-controlled transportation, the minimum space reservation is usually one-half truck. Please call the Office of the Registar at 202.633.3170 for more information.

Running meters or square meters: The minimum gallery space required for installation, determined by combining the linear measure of the exhibition elements with one foot between each item, or by utilizing minimum square meter estimates from exhibition designers. Conversions in feet are also provided.

Security: The minimum level required to host this exhibition. Please click here for complete details about each security rating.

Shipping terms: Click here for more information about shipping, fees, and policies.

Small-format: Lightweight, limited security, freestanding presentation.

Standard shipping: For most SITES exhibitions, the exhibitor is responsible for arranging and paying for outgoing shipping to the next venue on the tour. SITES provides shipping instructions and guidelines for selecting a carrier.

Tour dates: Tour opening dates are noted for exhibitions that have not yet begun circulating. For exhibitions currently on tour, the ending dates are provided.

Tour extended: An exhibition tour that was previously fully booked has been extended.

Weight: The total shipping weight (in kilograms and pounds) of the packed exhibition, provided to assist with planning and budgeting for outgoing shipping to the next venue.





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PO Box 37012
MRC 941
Washington, DC 20013-7012
202.633.3168 (tel.)
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