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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 198

United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant

Correspondence and Memoranda, 1882-1932

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant
Title: Correspondence and Memoranda
Dates: 1882-1932
Quantity: 19.50 cu. ft. (39 document boxes)
Collection: Record Unit 198
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

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.

Historical Note

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.

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Descriptive Entry

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.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 198, United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant, Correspondence and Memoranda

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Container List

Box 1

#1 - #40

Box 1 of 39

Box 2

#41 - #88

Box 2 of 39

Box 3

#89 - #136

Box 3 of 39

Box 4

#137- #220

Box 4 of 39

Box 5

#221- #268

Box 5 of 39

Box 6

#269 - #347

Box 6 of 39

Box 7

#348- #411 Includes (359) much on explorations and collecting activities of William Harvey Brown in Africa, 1890-1891; correspondence with Thomas Wilson, 1891-1892 (373); correspondence with Frank Baker regarding the National Zoo (392); and correspondence with Robert Ridgway, 1887 (395).

Box 7 of 39

Box 8

#412 - #456 Includes lists of staff, ca. 1880s (427).

Box 8 of 39

Box 9

#457 - #515 Includes correspondence with P. L. Jouy regarding his collecting activities in Mexico and the southwestern United States, 1890-1891 (505).

Box 9 of 39

Box 10

#516 - #629 Includes data compiled on staff members, ca. late 1890s (516).

Box 10 of 39

Box 11

#630 - #723 Includes memoranda for a speech to be delivered before the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives for the purpose of obtaining an increase in the appropriation for USNM (676); correspondence with Thomas Wilson regarding the condition of the Department of Prehistoric Anthropology, 1891 (686).

Box 11 of 39

Box 12

#724 - #791

Box 12 of 39

Box 13

#792 - #852

Box 13 of 39

Box 14

#853 - #917

Box 14 of 39

Box 15

#918 - #982

Box 15 of 39

Box 16

#983 - #1025

Box 16 of 39

Box 17

#1026 - #1077

Box 17 of 39

Box 18

#1078 - #1132

Box 18 of 39

Box 19

#1133 - #1185

Box 19 of 39

Box 20

#1186 - #1225

Box 20 of 39

Box 21

#1226 - #1295 Includes material on the history of the U.S. National Herbarium (1294).

Box 21 of 39

Box 22

#1296 - #1420 Includes correspondence with R. W. Shufeldt regarding a gift of his collections to the USNM (1304); correspondence of Ward Batchelor, collecting in Mexico in the 1880s, which might pertain to an accession - includes correspondence of Spencer F. Baird and William T. Hornaday (1334).

Box 22 of 39

Box 23

#1422 - #1511 Includes correspondence with J. N. Rose (1431a).

Box 23 of 39

Box 24

#1512 - #1627

Box 24 of 39

Box 25

#1628 - #1745

Box 25 of 39

Box 26

#1746 - #1850

Box 26 of 39

Box 27

#1851 - #1937

Box 27 of 39

Box 28

#1938 - #2042 Includes interesting correspondence with the Bureau of Biological Survey (2009).

Box 28 of 39

Box 29

#2043 - #2097

Box 29 of 39

Box 30

#2098 - #2200 Includes correspondence with and about Edward Drinker Cope (2119).

Box 30 of 39

Box 31

#2202 - #2333 Includes material on the proposed reorganization of the Department of Insects, 1897 (2299).

Box 31 of 39

Box 32

#2334 - #2365

Box 32 of 39

Box 33

#2366 - #2444

Box 33 of 39

Box 34

#2445 - #2505, #2791 Includes a list of officers of the USNM, showing the date they were appointed and their promotions, 1896 (2246); a brief history of the USNM (2499).

Box 34 of 39

Box 35

Card index to the records: A-G. A portion of the cards index Record Unit 167.

Box 35 of 39

Box 36

Card index to the records: GO-RIZ (I-Leg missing). A portion of the cards index Record Unit 167.

Box 36 of 39

Box 37

Card index to the records: RAO-ZO. A portion of the cards index Record Unit 167.

Box 37 of 39

Box 38

Additional Acquisition. Correspondence of the Chief Clerk and the Administrative Assistant arranged chronologically, 1890s-1911. Includes correspondence addressed to Frederick William True as Executive Curator, USNM, 1899-1900.

Box 38 of 39

Box 39

Additional Acquisition. Correspondence of the Chief Clerk and the Administrative Assistant arranged chronologically, 1912-1920s.

Box 39 of 39

Rathburn Obituaries

Box 39 of 39

American Museum of Natural History

Box 39 of 39