Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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Spencer Fullerton Baird, by Unknown, c. 1850, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-12179 or 64750.

July 5, 1850

The Board of Regents approves Secretary Joseph Henry's nomination of Spencer Fullerton Baird as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Natural History to take charge of the Museum as "Keeper of the Cabinet" and to assist with publications. Baird, a naturalist, previously taught at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The initial salary for his position is $1,500 per annum.More

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