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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 71

United States National Museum

National Museum Building Commission Records, 1879-1882

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: United States National Museum
Title: National Museum Building Commission Records
Dates: 1879-1882
Quantity: 5.89 cu. ft. (6 document boxes) (4 half document boxes) (4 12x17 boxes) (2 oversize folders)
Collection: Record Unit 71
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These records fully document the construction of the 1881 National Museum Building; included are fiscal records, specifications, bids and contracts, correspondence with the architects, and records of the Building Commission itself, including minutes of meetings. See also record unit 92.

Historical Note

In 1876 the Board of Regents requested an appropriation from Congress to build a new museum, a necessity because of the incoming collections from the International Exhibition in Philadelphia. Congress complied and made an appropriation in 1879. The Regents appointed a building commission consisting of resident members of the Regents' Executive Committee and Secretary Spencer F. Baird. Cluss and Shulze of Philadelphia were made superintending architects. Construction began in April 1879 and was completed in 1881.

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Descriptive Entry

These records fully document the construction of the 1881 National Museum Building; included are fiscal records, specifications, bids and contracts, correspondence with the architects, and records of the Building Commission itself, including minutes of meetings. See also record unit 92.

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Access Restriction

Deteriorating letterpress may prevent any reproduction.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 71, United States National Museum, National Museum Building Commission Records

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Container List

Box 1

Folders 1-6 Numbered Correspondence, 1-779, April 1879-July 1886: Numbers 1-465

Box 1 of 14

Box 2

Folders 1-4 Numbered Correspondence, 1-779, April 1879-July 1886: Numbers 466-779

Box 2 of 14

Box 3

Folders 1-7 Bids and Contracts, 1879-1881

Box 3 of 14

Box 4

Folder 1 Carpenters Time Book, December 1900-January 1901

Box 4 of 14

Box 5

Folder 1 Outgoing Correspondence, April-October 1879

Box 5 of 14

Box 6

Folder 1 Minutes of Meetings, 1879-1880

Box 6 of 14

Box 7

Folders 1-2 Ledger, 1879-1882

Box 7 of 14

Box 8

Folders 1-4 Minutes of Meetings of the Commission, 1879-1881

Box 8 of 14

Box 9

Folder 1 Ledger, 1879-1882

Box 9 of 14

Box 10

Folder 1 Outgoing Correspondence, 1879-1882

Box 10 of 14

Box 11

Correspondence

Folder 1 Baird

Box 11 of 14

Folders 2-2A Cluss

Box 11 of 14

Folder 3 Meigs

Box 11 of 14

Folder 4 Sherman

Box 11 of 14

Folder 5 Leech

Box 11 of 14

Folder 6 Parker

Box 11 of 14

Folder 7 Gleason and Himber

Box 11 of 14

Folder 8 Unidentified Correspondence

Box 11 of 14

Folders 9-14 Miscellaneous Correspondence

Box 11 of 14

Box 12

Subject Files

Folder 1 Inaugural Ball, March 4, 1881 (some original documents moved to oversize)

Box 12 of 14

Folder 2 Elevations of New National Museum (not as built), 1884

Box 12 of 14

Folder 3 Legislation

Box 12 of 14

Folder 4 Advertisements Placed and Receipts of Payment

Box 12 of 14

Folder 5 Building Committee

Box 12 of 14

Folder 6 Museum of Natural History

Box 12 of 14

Folder 7 Regents

Box 12 of 14

Folder 8 Report of the Building Commission, 1879-1881, Report of the Architects and Plans and Views of the "Castle"

Box 12 of 14

Folder 9 Pictures

Box 12 of 14

Folder 10 Regents' Memorandum to Congress, February 5, 1877

Box 12 of 14

Folder 11 Elevations of Smithsonian Institution

Box 12 of 14

Folder 12 "Spencer F. Baird and His Collectors," by William Deiss

Box 12 of 14

Folder 13 Memorandum on Museums, Library of Congress - Estimate

Box 12 of 14

Folder 14 Harper's Weekly (original documents moved to oversize)

Box 12 of 14

Folder 15 Plat

Box 12 of 14

Folders 16-17 Plan

Box 12 of 14

Folder 18 Bell System

Box 12 of 14

Folder 19 Felt

Box 12 of 14

Folder 20 Electrical

Box 12 of 14

Folder 21 Bricks

Box 12 of 14

Folder 22 Cement

Box 12 of 14

Folder 23 Doors

Box 12 of 14

Folder 24 Drainpipe, Drainage

Box 12 of 14

Folder 25 Floors

Box 12 of 14

Folder 26 Iron

Box 12 of 14

Folder 27 Lamp Black

Box 12 of 14

Folder 28 Lumber

Box 12 of 14

Folder 29 Models of Rosettes

Box 12 of 14

Folder 30 Shelving

Box 12 of 14

Folder 31 Steam, Heating and Ventilation

Box 12 of 14

Folder 32 Copper, Tin, Iron Cornice and Trimmings

Box 12 of 14

Folder 33 Painting

Box 12 of 14

Folder 34 Photographs

Box 12 of 14

Folder 35 Plastering

Box 12 of 14

Folder 36 Plumbing and Steamfitting

Box 12 of 14

Folder 37 Roofing

Box 12 of 14

Folder 38 Stone

Box 12 of 14

Folder 39 Ventilators - Window Glass

Box 12 of 14

Folder 40 Tiles

Box 12 of 14

Folder 41 Cut and Stone Work

Box 12 of 14

Folder 42 Coping, Stone

Box 12 of 14

Folder 43 Windows

Box 12 of 14

Box 13

Folders 1-26 Alphabetic Correspondence

Box 13 of 14

Box 14

Technical Reports

Folder 1 Draft Reports of Commission to Regents

Box 14 of 14

Folder 2 Memorandum of January 31, 1877

Box 14 of 14

Folder 3 Contract Dispute with Gleason and Himber

Box 14 of 14

Folder 4 Memorandum re: Fireproof Building

Box 14 of 14

Folder 5 Memorandum re: Proper Position of New Building

Box 14 of 14

Folder 6 The New Building for the National Museum

Box 14 of 14

Folder 7 Permits

Box 14 of 14

Folder 8 Bids

Box 14 of 14

Folder 9 Bids, Comparison Sheet - Heating Apparatus

Box 14 of 14

Folder 10 Building History

Box 14 of 14

Folder 11 Articles of Agreement

Box 14 of 14

Folder 12 Estimates

Box 14 of 14

Folder 13 Voucher Forms

Box 14 of 14

Folder 14 Vouchers

Box 14 of 14

Folder 15 Articles Chosen from Catalogue

Box 14 of 14

Folder 16 Request from Neighbors on B Street for Plaque

Box 14 of 14

Folder 17 Specifications

Box 14 of 14
Oversize

Materials removed from Box 12

Folder 1 Inaugural Ball, March 4, 1881

Oversize

Folder 2 Harper's Weekly

Oversize