The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines. The Smithsonian has requested $797.6 million from Congress in 2011 to fund its operations. While most of its 19 museums, its zoo, and its nine research centers facilities are located in Washington, D.C., sites are also located in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere. The Smithsonian has over 136 million items in its collections, publishes two magazines named Smithsonian (monthly) and Air & Space (bimonthly), and employs the Smithsonian Police to protect visitors, staff, and the property of its museums. The Institution's current logo is a stylized sun. The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, and many of its buildings are historical and architectural landmarks. In addition, 168 other museums are Smithsonian affiliates.
The Smithsonian Institution is established as a trust instrumentality by act of Congress, and it is functionally and legally a body of the U.S. government, but separate from the government's federal legislative, executive, and judicial branches. More than two-thirds of the Smithsonian's workforce of some 6,300 persons are employees of the federal government. Attorneys from the United States Department of Justice represent the Smithsonian in litigation, and any money judgments against the Smithsonian are paid from the federal treasury.
The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services oversees security at the Smithsonian facilities. The Secretary of the Smithsonian may designate employees to have Special Police Status to enforce regulations within the Smithsonian facilities and grounds as well as areas of the National Capital Parks in D.C.