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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Today in Smithsonian History

George Perkins Marsh

July 23, 1882

George Perkins Marsh dies. Marsh was a strong supporter of the Smithsonian in its early years, arguing for a great national library as part of the Institution. He served on the Board of Regents from 1847 to 1849, as a Congressman from Vermont. He encouraged Secretary Joseph Henry to hire his protégé, Spencer Fullerton Baird, as the first curator of the National Museum. His art collection was purchased for the National Museum in 1849, the first art collection acquired by the Smithsonian.More

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