Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7063
John Varden Papers, 1829-1863
John Varden (c. 1790-1865) directed the Washington City Museum from 1829 until 1841. He then affiliated himself with the National Institute in some tenuous fashion. As the collections of the United States Exploring Expedition slipped away from the Institute's control during 1842, Varden also began to work under the direction of Captain Charles Wilkes. To these two jobs, he added an assignment in the National Gallery of the Patent Office. When the collections housed in the Patent Office were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1858, Varden accompanied them, working on museum specimens until his death in 1865.
These papers consist of a few pieces of incoming and outgoing correspondence, a daybook of the Washington City Museum from 1829 to 1841, a journal containing a listing of artifacts collected by the Museum, 1837-1841, a catalog of collections housed in the National Gallery of the Patent Office as of 1852, and Varden's diary, 1857-1863.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Varden, John
- Wilkes, Charles, 1798-1877
- Washington City Museum
- National Institute
- United States. Patent Office
- United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7063, John Varden Papers