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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Museum of History
Fo3 Museum of History.png
Icon monument.png
Entrance to the Museum, view from the Mall
Museum of History loc.jpg
Map MarkerMuseum of History
Part ofThe Mall
SectionsMuseum of History offices
Museum of History lower halls
Other ExitsUnderworld
QuestsHead of State
Lincoln's Profit Margins
Cell NameMuseumAmericanEntrance
MuseumAmerican01 (lower halls)
MuseumAmerican03 (offices)
ref id00074eb2
0001851f (lower halls)
0001851d (offices)

The Smithsonian Museum of History[1] is a massive pre-War institution located at Madison Drive in the Mall, Washington, D.C. in Fallout 3.


Once the location where the proud history of the American nation was displayed for all to see, the Museum is now a ruin, a mere shadow of its former self. Its decaying corridors are infested with mutants and strewn with exhibits, loot of the ignorant, savage masses in the Capital Wasteland. Much of the building has collapsed, of the four exhibits (Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, American Military Might of World War II, the Resource Wars and the Alaskan Liberation from the Red Chinese) only the exhibit to Abraham Lincoln remains intact, but has been heavily damaged with only few surviving artifacts.

Special note must be made of the Underworld. Once a temporary exhibition dedicated to the perception of the afterlife in human history, it has became the sanctuary of all ghouls of the Capital Wasteland, who founded their own city there in response to bigotry common in the wastes.



The museum is on the north side of The Mall, north and a little east of the Washington Monument.Its east and west wings straddle the Museum Station western exit.


The structure itself is relatively undamaged, but most of the exhibits have been destroyed or ruined. The only non destroyed exhibit is a Woolly Mammoth which can be seen as soon as you enter. It contains the entrance to the Underworld, a city of sentient ghouls. The Museum also houses a number of artifacts of Abraham Lincoln (see below), notably including Lincoln's repeater and Lincoln's hat. The building occupies the real-world site of the National Museum of Natural History.


As with many buildings, like the Washington Monument and Capitol Building, the only access to it would be through the Metro. Be warned, the Metro is inhabited by a number of raiders, and the only way to get through the Metro to the Museum would be to fight your way through. The easiest way to get to the museum through the Metro would be to go in Anacostia Crossing and head up the tracks, then through the Museum Station.


The Museum - except for Underworld - is infested by feral ghouls, glowing ones, and even reavers. Fawkes will be waiting in the lobby if the player decided to free him from Vault 87, without picking him up as a companion.

With Broken Steel installed Griffon will also inhabit the lobby selling the "amazing" aqua cura.

Notable loot

Lincoln's artifacts

The Museum of History houses a considerable number of artifacts of Abraham Lincoln. As the former president is a symbol of hope for slaves in the Wastelands, his artifacts are highly sought after by both slaves and slavers (and historians, of course).

See the main article for item locations and buyers.

Museum of History entrance

Museum of History lower halls

  • D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine in the kitchen area of the lower halls on a shelf. It is in the kitchen room with a first aid box (east kitchen, west wall, bottom shelf.)
  • Nuka-Cola Quantum south of the kitchen area of Museum of History lower halls, underneath a table, in a crate. And another in one of the Nuka-Cola machines right next to the one in the crate.
  • Lincoln's diary is found on the second floor of Museum of History lower halls inside the northwest corner of the exhibition room.

Museum of History offices

  • Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual on the desk next to the case containing Lincoln's repeater (second floor of museum offices).
  • John Wilkes Booth wanted poster as well as the Civil War draft poster (also indicated below) are found in the Museum of History offices, Library section (the 2-story room with the turret), on the first floor on a book shelf in the southwest and southeast corners (respectively) of the room.
  • Antique Lincoln coin collection on the top floor of the library section, when you get to the top of the stairs go through the doorway your right, then north along the hallway and into the first room on the right. It is on a bookshelf on the west side of this room.
  • Action Abe action figure item found in the offices on a desk in the archives room behind a very hard locked door. You can access this without lock picking by going through the large hole in the wall nearby.
  • Lincoln's hat is found on the first floor of the offices in the first room on the right after coming up the stairs from the lower halls. The room has a large hole in its ceiling and is located next to the men's bathroom.
  • Lincoln's voice is found in the Museum of History offices. It is located in the Library (the 2-story room with the turret), upstairs, on a desk to the left of the hole blown in the main room up there.
  • Lincoln's repeater is found in the display case in the Museum of History offices. Up the stairs in the library, through the hole in the wall, back of the room look left before door.
  • Civil War draft poster can be found in the southeast corner of the museum on the lower office level, on the top shelf of the bookcases you see when looking westwards. It seems that the poster can also fall to the ground as well. This maybe a result of the turret shooting at ghouls or maybe an odd placement by developers which causes it to fall. Check both top shelf or ground.
  • Lincoln Memorial poster (also indicated above)is found on the upper level of the Museum of History offices to the right of the broken section of wall, hanging on the wall behind a desk. The poster will not appear there until the player talks with Caleb Smith during the Head of State quest. Be aware it is also in the line of fire of the defense turret hanging from the ceiling, so additional caution would be advised when retrieving it. Note that the Lincoln Memorial Poster is a quest item, so if you wanted to keep it in your house, you're out of luck.


  • There will be some bear traps set in the upper floor kitchen, use caution.


The Museum of History appears only in Fallout 3.


  • The main door to the museum may freeze. Sometimes when this happens, it never corrects itself, and the player may get locked forever.
  • PCIcon pc.png When the player first enters the lower levels of the Museum of History, the feral ghouls, reavers, and one glowing one may not attack the player. They may just run around after each other, not attacking the player until attacked, while appearing as enemies on the players radar.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If the player wears the ghoul mask into the abandoned portion of the Museum of History, not only will the feral ghouls refrain from attacking, but the automated turrets will not target the player.
  • PCIcon pc.png It is possible to re-lock the exhibit security gates, after they have been picked, by hacking the nearby computer and closing them. You may then proceed to pick the locks again and again using this method- gaining exp.(Fixed in latest patch)
  • When fast traveling to the Museum, a super mutant brute will likely appear in front of you or in the plaza of the museum.
  • On the first floor of the Museum of History offices, around the middle of the map, there is a room with an empty metal box sitting on top of a short shelf that does not indicate [EMPTY] when looking at it.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png When leaving Underworld, while walking through the museum entrance, your followers will disappear. This does not happen with Fawkes, due to the fact that it is his waiting point. The followers should reappear on exiting the area. Curiously, the game seems aware of this glitch, due to the fact followers may materialize through the door a few seconds after you have left, rather than just appearing instantly.
  • To the right of the Museum of History is a rubble pile, if you switch to 3rd person mode, and jump repeatedly/walk from left to right, you will eventually make it to the top, leaving you to drop down and explore a glitched up devoid world with floating buildings which have no collision data.
  • Lincoln's repeater can disappear from its case, this is very rare, and you can obtain it by console command.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Sometimes after destroying the turrets the shooting sound effects will continue to play.

See also