Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 61
Smithsonian Institution. International Exchange Service
The International Exchange Program was established in 1849 to provide communication between scientific and literary societies through exchange of publications. Also, by publishing lists of correspondents, participating learned societies, and periodicals received, libraries were given valuable information to assist their collection building. Beginning officially in 1867, the Smithsonian Institution distributed United States government publications to foreign countries. In the 1880's several international agreements were made for exchange of official publications, in which the Smithsonian directed the program for the United States government. In 1881 the Smithsonian received its first federal appropriation for international exchanges. From the outset, the Smithsonian's primary purpose was to increase knowledge by exchange of publications, rather than to build its own library; nevertheless, exchanges have contributed greatly to the development of the Smithsonian Library.
These records contain information about receipt of publications for the Smithsonian Library, distribution information, and substantial correspondence documenting the operation of the Exchange Service. Also included is the private log of Jerome H. Kidder. See also Record Unit 27.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 61, Smithsonian Institution, International Exchange Service, Records