The Lost and Found Office matches lost property with daily lost property reports, and inspects lost property for information that can facilitate return to its owner. Lost property is returned to its rightful owner whenever possible.
Items are generally returned via U.S. mail at the Smithsonian's expense. Claimants who request items in person must provide an accurate description of the item, and if possible, proof of ownership. A signature is required for all property received.
Lost and Found Location
Capital Gallery, 4th Floor
Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; closed from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Tel. (202) 633-5612
Lost Items Are Kept for Only a Limited Time
Items are retained for the duration of the month they are turned-in and the following 10 days only. After this time period, not to exceed 41 days, items are turned over to the General Services Administration (GSA).
Cash turned-in to the Lost and Found Office is held for approximately five working days and then deposited to the OPS Accounting Petty Cash Office located in the Smithsonian Castle Building, Room B-2.
To claim lost cash, the claimant must provide an accurate description of the container in which it was found and/or the correct amount. If the claimant arrives at Lost and Found before the money has been deposited in the Petty Cash Office, he or she may sign for and immediately receive the currency.
Once the cash has been deposited in the Petty Cash Office however, the Lost and Found Office must send a memo on behalf of the claimant requesting a check be forwarded for the amount of the lost currency.
If the cash remains unclaimed but the owner's identity is known (through identification cards in a wallet, for example), the Lost and Found Office will forward the owner a money order for the amount of the cash minus the cost of the money order and postage.