The South Dakota State Historical Society's museum in Pierre has become an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Officials say the affiliation will allow the museum at the state Cultural Heritage Center to borrow artifacts and exhibits from the Smithsonian, which is the world's largest museum. The partnership also will give South Dakota museum staff a chance to work with the Smithsonian to create new educational programming for schools.
Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, says many people never get a chance to visit the Smithsonian's 19 museums in Washington, but the affiliation agreement will make it easier for South Dakotans to experience some of what the Smithsonian has to offer.
Closter says there are 18,000 museums in the United States, but only 177 of them are Smithsonian affiliates.