Each Monday, sit back, relax, and ease into the work week with puzzles created from images in our collections that have been designated as open access. Anyone can now download, transform, share, and reuse these images as part of Smithsonian Open Access, launched in 2020.
Did you catch our big announcement last week? The Smithsonian Institution Archives has merged with Smithsonian Libraries to become Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. As we get to know our newest colleagues, we thought it might be fun to revisit some early Smithsonian history.
Smithsonian’s founding legislation in 1846 called for the establishment of a library, and soon after, the Board of Regents appointed Charles Coffin Jewett, a librarian at Brown University, as the first Assistant Secretary in charge of the library. However, Jewett and Joseph Henry, Smithsonian’s first Secretary, disagreed on the size and contents of the library, and, following a public dispute in 1855, Henry fired Jewett. Read more about the drama and the 1865 fire that put the collections at risk on our website.
The library space in the United States National Museum, now the Arts and Industries Building, was later named the Jewett Room.