Stories from the Vaults

Watch Stories from the Vaults

  • 2007
  • 2 Seasons
  • 8.2  (29)

A series of 30 minute shows featuring behind-the-scenes look at the largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution. The series showcases the Smithsonian

Stories from the Vaults
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Villains and Rogues
7. Villains and Rogues
August 23, 2009
Join Host Tom Cavanagh as he takes on the bad guys and digs up some pretty incriminating evidence from the Smithsonian vaults. The Smithsonian is sometimes mistaken for a "Hall of Fame," a pantheon for heroic characters and noble accomplishments. But the historians and researchers here study everyone: heroes and villains, the famous and the infamous. Tom's investigation unearths photographic evidence from the Crime of the Century, new details on America's first "Lone Gunman": John Wilkes Booth, and creepy facts about everyone's favorite natural villain-the snake.
Sex 101
6. Sex 101
August 16, 2009
Join Tom as he goes behind the scenes and under the covers of the Smithsonian to find evidence of romance and, yes, sex within the Institution's family-friendly confines. The topic may not be featured in major museum exhibitions, but the vaults and labs here feature fascinating stories about "the birds and the bees."
Going, Going, Gone
5. Going, Going, Gone
August 9, 2009
Join Tom Cavanagh for a look at what might be called "extreme conservation": the extraordinary efforts and discoveries of Smithsonian curators to preserve ideas, art works, even entire animal species, so that they'll continue to inspire for generations to come. We'll meet some of the rarest and most endangered animals in the world, including Przewalski's Horse and the clouded leopard, we'll face the problem of restoring art that was designed to fall apart, and then we'll hear fragments of a Bach concerto much as Johann Sebastian himself might have heard it as he sat down to play at his harpsichord.
Crystal Ball
4. Crystal Ball
August 2, 2009
Join host Tom Cavanagh for a trip in fast forward, as we explore some of the ways that science imitates ESP. Travel to New York's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for a look at the ways that the design of products we use every day is changing how we imagine tomorrow. Then head down to Panama City for a sneak peek at the museum of the future, the Frank Gehry-designed Museum of Biodiversity, which aims to turn the myriad ways that climate change is affecting the world's plant, animal, and human life into a living experience. Now that's forward thinking!
Nature's Vault
3. Nature's Vault
July 26, 2009
Fly south with host Tom Cavanagh as he travels to the jungles of Panama to track wild sloths with Smithsonian biologists. Then he takes a 17-story ride on a construction crane high into the rainforest canopy to check out the local bugs' life, followed by a geology field trip with scientist Tony Coates, who offers up some remarkable insight into the Panamanian Isthmus, its formation, its far-reaching effects on global climate, and of course the right way to pronounce "isthmus." It's all in a day's work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute here in Panama, where scientists and researchers brave the sultry heat to produce world-class research and discoveries about evolution, climate change and the powerful forces that shape our planet.
Top Secret
2. Top Secret
July 19, 2009
Join host Tom Cavanagh in a thrilling peek at some of the hidden codes, strange symbols, and bizarre mysteries hidden in the world's most renowned museum complex. We'll meet a sculptor who encrypted a message so puzzling into his sculpture for CIA Headquarters in Langley that even today, 20 years later, the Agency's top cryptographers haven't been able to crack the code. The Post Office has its share of secrets, too, and we go to the National Postal Museum to learn about the hush-hush shipment of the Hope Diamond, as well as a truly odd Cold War program for sending secret messages by guided missile.
Let's Eat!
1. Let's Eat!
July 12, 2009
Food is much more than just stuff we like to eat. It's the cornerstone of who we are, building communities, driving industries, and sustaining our health and well-being. But what does the Smithsonian have to do with food? Join host Tom Cavanagh behind the scenes as he cooks Native American dishes with the executive chef of the National Museum of the American Indian's Mitsitam Cafe. Experience the American coffee break with our friends at the National Museum of American History, then visit the National Museum of Dentistry to learn exactly how that cuppa joe and a doughnut takes a toll on our teeth.

A series of 30 minute shows featuring behind-the-scenes look at the largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution. The series showcases the Smithsonian Stories from the Vaults is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (14 episodes). The series first aired on September 3, 2007.

Where to Watch Stories from the Vaults

Stories from the Vaults is available for streaming on the SNI/SI Networks website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Stories from the Vaults on demand at Apple TV+, Paramount+, Amazon, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.

  • Premiere Date
    September 3, 2007
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (29)