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Smithsonian African American museum debuts new website

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opens to the public Sept. 24.  (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The National Museum of African American History and Culture launched a revamped website Monday, offering information about the opening ceremonies in September, extended stories about pieces in the collection and details about making a contribution.

Visitors to can read about the opening ceremony Sept. 24 as well as the three-day “Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration,” starting Sept. 23 from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located on the western end of the Mall, adjacent to the Washington Monument.

The opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 24, and the museum will open to the public for the first time from 1 to 6 p.m. Extended hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. begin the following day. The museum will offer timed admission to help control the expected crowds. The free tickets will be available in advance and on the day of a visit. Details about obtaining tickets will be available soon, a Smithshonian spokeswoman said.

[A first look inside the Smithsonian’s African American museum: Stunning views, grand scale]

The website includes virtual tours of the building and exhibitions, and a searchable database of the museum’s almost 37,000-item collection. Visitors can also purchase or renew memberships and browse other ways to give.