Every Collection has a Story. The 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.

Charles Doolittle Walcott, 1922, by Unknown, 1922, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3139.

February 18, 1898

The Washington Academy of Sciences is incorporated, based on a constitution drafted by Acting Assistant Secretary Charles Doolittle Walcott, who is also elected president in 1899.  Many of the Smithsonian's scientific staff become charter members of the Academy.

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