Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 561
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum
Correspondence and Memoranda, 1858-1869 and undated
In the late 1850s, the Smithsonian Institution began receiving large collections of ethnographic and natural history material from arctic America, gathered by officers of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). The Smithsonian's relationship with HBC was primarily a result of Robert Kennicott's explorations on behalf of the Institution during the 1850s.
These records consist of correspondence written to Smithsonian Institution Assistant Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird by officers of the HBC documenting their collecting activities on behalf of the Institution. Principal correspondents include George Barnston, Laurence Clarke, Jr., Charles P. Gaudet, Donald Gunn, William L. Hardisty, Strachan Jones, James Lockhart, Roderick Ross MacFarlane, W. Mactavish, and Bernard Rogan Ross. Also included is correspondence from Elliott Coues to Baird concerning an expedition to Labrador, 1860; and miscellaneous notes and lists concerning natural history specimens.
This correspondence was apparently pulled from Baird's official files. Researchers interested in the HBC should also consult Record Units 26, 33, 52, 53, 305, 7002, 7215, and 7221.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887
- Kennicott, Robert, 1835-1866
- Barnston, George
- Clarke, Laurence, Jr.
- Gaudet, Charles P.
- Gunn, Donald, 1797-1878
- Hardisty, William L.
- Jones, Strachan
- Lockhart, James
- MacFarlane, R. (Roderick), 1833-1920
- Mactavish, William, 1815-1870
- Ross, Bernard Rogan
- Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Museums -- Administration
- Museums -- Collection management
- Natural history
- Ethnological expeditions
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 561, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum, Correspondence and Memoranda