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


The following guidelines offer detailed information on hosting an exhibition. Need further information? Contact the Scheduling and Exhibitor Relations office at 202.633.3140 or by e-mail at

Contract and Payment

After SITES has approved an exhibitor's facility report, a contract formalizing the agreement between SITES and the borrowing institution is issued.

Each exhibition contract presents the terms for that particular exhibition. The contract details booking dates, participation fee and deposit, requirements for security, shipping and special handling, credit language, sponsorship agreements (if applicable), and Smithsonian Institution policies.

Exhibitors must sign and return contracts and a deposit within 30 days of receipt.

A deposit of 25% of the participation fee is due with the signed contract. The exhibitor will receive an invoice for the remainder of the fee at the beginning of the month in which the exhibition is received. Note: The host institution is also responsible for paying for outgoing shipping . If shipping for an exhibition is prorated, SITES will send an invoice for shipping fees at the beginning of the month in which the exhibition is received.

If an organization cancels an exhibition booking, it is obligated to pay the entire exhibition fee and any other costs (e.g., shipping or storage) related to the cancellation, unless SITES secures another booking. Once an exhibitor signs a contract, the exhibition period is reserved and other organizations are prevented from hosting the show during that time.

Questions about any of the terms that appear on this page? See our glossary.



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Mailing Address
PO Box 37012
MRC 941
Washington, DC 20013-7012
202.633.3168 (tel.)
202.633.5347 (fax)

Delivery Address
470 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Suite 7103
Washington, DC 20024


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