Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 198
United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant
Correspondence and Memoranda, 1882-1932
The Administrative Assistant was in charge of the general supervision of the expenditure of United States National Museum (USNM) appropriations; preparing proposals for supplies; issuing orders for the purchasing of supplies; settlement of accounts; awarding contracts; supervision of non-scientific or specimen-related correspondence; general supervision of employees, assignments to duty, granting leaves of absence; and conducting boards of inquiry and investigations of complaints. The Administrative Assistant also acted as special agent and at times was appointed representative of the Museum and the Smithsonian at international expositions. Prior to 1902 the incumbent was known as Chief Clerk.
William V. Cox was designated as the Museum's first Chief Clerk in 1885. When he left the Museum in 1902 the title of the position was changed to Administrative Assistant, and William deC. Ravenel was appointed to the post.
These records consist of incoming correspondence and internal memoranda. For outgoing correspondence see Record Unit 167. The records are arranged in a numeric filing scheme with access by a card index arranged alphabetically by correspondent and subject. It is suspected that the records are incomplete.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Cox, William Van Zandt, 1852-1923
- Ravenel, W. de C. (William de Chastignier), 1859-1933
- Smithsonian Institution -- Administration
- United States National Museum
- Smithsonian Institution. Chief Clerk
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 198, United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant, Correspondence and Memoranda