The Center's collections examine the Island's prehistoric occupation and over 300 years of continued residency by settlers from the British Isles and their descendants.

Smith Island is so closely associated with crabbing and oystering that few know that the first Smith Islanders were farmers.  Residents turned their focus from land to water in response to the demand for seafood and wildfowl, as erosion and rising water levels made farming increasingly difficult. Highlights include traditional water craft,  an examination of waterman culture and island life, and a film featuring interviews with Islanders. The Smith Island Cultural Center is operated by the Crisfield and Smith Island Cultural Alliance, Inc.