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Record Unit 165,  Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk,  Records, 1882-1907

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk
Title: Records
Dates: 1882-1907
Quantity: 1.6 linear meters.
Collection: Record Unit 165
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

Records include copies of disbursement vouchers, statements, abstracts of disbursements, monthly disbursement statements, cash vouchers, and summary balance and debit statements, and correspondence regarding the history of the Disbursement Clerk position. Disbursement of funds included both the private and federal side of the Smithsonian, in particular, the operations of the USNM, National Zoological Park, and International Exchange Service. Form vouchers were also signed by Secretaries Spencer F. Baird and Samuel P. Langley.

Historical Note

Records of the disbursement clerk consist entirely of outgoing letterpress financial statements, most of which were signed by William W. Karr. Karr was appointed to the position of "factotum" in 1879. His assignment included time-keeping, keeping accounts of expenditures and making out bills for payment for the contractors during the construction of the Arts and Industries Building. As a result of his efficiency, Karr was appointed to the USNM force as a clerk, November 1880, although he was also called bookkeeper, assistant, and cashier. In 1884 he became the accountant for the Smithsonian. Karr became disbursement clerk in 1888, and from 1888 to 1905 he held the joint position of accountant and disbursement clerk with his salary coming from both Smithsonian private funds and museum federal funds. In 1905 Karr was discharged from his duties on charges of embezzlement.

Prior to 1873, all accounts for the National Museum were paid by the Smithsonian and audited by the Executive Committee. From 1873 until 1888, bills for the USNM were approved by the Secretary and disbursed by the disbursing agent at the Department of Interior. In a similar fashion beginning in 1874, the Secretary of the Treasury disbursed Smithsonian funds and made payment on checks signed by the Secretary. In 1888 funds for the Museum and International Exchange Service as well as those from the Treasury Department were turned over to the disbursement clerk for the Smithsonian. Funds appropriated for North American Ethnology were transferred to the Smithsonian disbursement clerk in 1892.

Descriptive Entry

These records include copies of disbursement vouchers, statements, abstracts of disbursements, monthly disbursement statements, cash vouchers, and summary balance and debit statements; also correspondence regarding the history of the disbursement clerk position. Disbursement of funds included both the private and federal side of the Smithsonian, in particular, the operations of the USNM, National Zoological Park, and International Exchange Service. Form vouchers are also signed by Secretaries Spencer F. Baird and Samuel P. Langley. Most volumes are individually indexed. A volume list follows.

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 165, Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk, Records

Container List

Box 1

Volume 1. November 30, 1882-May 31, 1883

Box 1 of 11

Volume 2. June 1, 1883-December 14, 1883

Box 1 of 11

Volume 3. December 14, 1883-May 15, 1884

Box 1 of 11

Volume 4. May 15, 1884-November 11, 1884

Box 1 of 11

Box 2

Volume 5. November 12, 1884-April 15, 1885

Box 2 of 11

Volume 6. April 16, 1885-August 24, 1885

Box 2 of 11

Volume 7. August 24, 1885-January 14, 1886

Box 2 of 11

Volume 8. January 14, 1886-May 17, 1886

Box 2 of 11

Box 3

Volume 9. Monthly Disbursement Statements, January 1886-June 1888

Box 3 of 11

Volume 10. May 17, 1886-November 20, 1886

Box 3 of 11

Volume 11. November 20, 1886-April 4, 1887

Box 3 of 11

Volume 12. April 6, 1887-September 19, 1887

Box 3 of 11

Box 4

Volume 13. September 20, 1887-March 22, 1888

Box 4 of 11

Volume 14. January 12, 1888-June 4, 1889

Box 4 of 11

Volume 15. March 22, 1888-January 26, 1889

Box 4 of 11

Volume 16. Monthly Disbursement Statements, July 1888-March 1890

Box 4 of 11

Box 5

Volume 17. September 11, 1888-June 20, 1890

Box 5 of 11

Volume 18. January 26, 1889-November 9, 1889

Box 5 of 11

Volume 19. August 7, 1889-October 25, 1890

Box 5 of 11

Volume 20. November 9, 1889-July 15, 1890

Box 5 of 11

Box 6

Volume 21. Monthly Disbursement Statements, April 1890-July 1891

Box 6 of 11

Volume 22. July 17, 1890-November 25, 1890

Box 6 of 11

Volume 23. November 25, 1890-February 20, 1891

Box 6 of 11

Volume 24. February 20, 1891-May 2, 1891

Box 6 of 11

Box 7

Volume 25. May 2, 1891-July 20, 1891

Box 7 of 11

Volume 26. July 21, 1891-October 15, 1891

Box 7 of 11

Volume 27. Monthly Disbursement Statements, July 1891-July 1892

Box 7 of 11

Volume 28. October 17, 1891-January 8, 1892

Box 7 of 11

Box 8

Volume 29. January 9, 1892-April 29, 1892

Box 8 of 11

Volume 30. April 29, 1892-July 18, 1892

Box 8 of 11

Volume 31. July 18, 1892-January 7, 1893

Box 8 of 11

Volume 32. Monthly Disbursement Statements, August 1892-November 1893

Box 8 of 11

Box 9

Volume 33. January 9, 1893-September 30, 1893

Box 9 of 11

Volume 34. September 30, 1893-January 4, 1895

Box 9 of 11

Volume 35. Monthly Disbursement Statements, November 1893-August 1894

Box 9 of 11

Volume 36. January 4, 1895-November 28, 1896

Box 9 of 11

Box 10

Volume 37. October 7, 1896-February 9, 1898

Box 10 of 11

Volume 38. February 10, 1898-January 24, 1900

Box 10 of 11

Volume 39. March 3, 1899-June 24, 1902

Box 10 of 11

Volume 40. June 25, 1902-October 19, 1904

Box 10 of 11

Box 11

Volume 41. October 24, 1904-July 21, 1905

Box 11 of 11

Volume 42. April 11, 1900-May 26, 1905

Box 11 of 11

Volume 43. June 13, 1905-April 24, 1907

Box 11 of 11

Folders 1-3 Incoming correspondence, 1898-1905

Box 11 of 11