About this Project

Everybody has a story. What's Yours?

Created by the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program within the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), "Stories from Main Street" is the Smithsonian’s home for stories from rural America. This website is designed to be a place where anyone with an interest in life in America’s small towns and communities can add their own experiences to the archive.

Why did the Smithsonian create this website and accompanying app? Amazing things in the collections of America’s major museums, like Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis airplane, the Hope Diamond, and even Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, beg for our attention. You know you want to see it, be near it, and learn more about it!

Get to know your own community!
Local museums have cool stuff too.
But, did you know that about 43% of museums and historical societies in the U.S. are located in small and rural communities? America’s small museums and libraries are the caretakers of a staggering number of objects, photos, and documents that preserve local history. Whether they record the history of your local sports teams, buildings in your area, or the coming of the railroad to your town, local museums tell the complete story!


The work of local volunteers to collect and preserve these materials ensures that stories that are even closer to home can be told. These organizations are centers for the study of American history and culture just like our major museums. Their stories are our stories. And, this website is the place to collect those stories that represent the rich history of our small towns and exemplify the excitement, diversity and creativity of their citizens.

This website is for them and for you. Local museums, historical societies, libraries and the public are encouraged to tell the Smithsonian about their unique experiences in America’s small and rural communities and share photographs, recordings and videos to help us all learn what’s special about your town. We want to hear from you!