Permanent Administrative File, 1877-1975

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Consists of the central administrative file of the United States National Museum (USNM), including records documenting public inquiries, museum accessions, Smithsonian expeditions and field trips, Smithsonian participation in expositions, operation of certain museum divisions, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the correspondence is directed to the officer in immediate charge of USNM(Richard Rathbun, 1897-1918; William de Chastignier Ravenel, 1918-1925; Alexander Wetmore, 1925-1948; Remington Kellogg, 1948-1962) with lesser amounts to John Enos Graf, who was appointed Associate Director, USNM, in 1931. Also, a smaller amount of correspondence is addressed to the Secretary of the Smithsonian (Spencer F. Baird, 1878-1887; S.P. Langley, 1887-1906;Charles D. Walcott, 1907-1927; Charles G. Abbot, 1928- 1944;Alexander Wetmore, 1944-1952; Leonard Carmichael, 1953- 1964) and to various museum curators. This correspondence was usually referred to the chief administrator of USNM for response.


  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • Rathbun, Richard 1852-1918
  • Ravenel, W. de C (William de Chastignier) 1859-1933
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-1978
  • Kellogg, Remington 1892-1969
  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) 1872-1973
  • Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973
  • Graf, John Enos
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887


Series Level Description


  • To view records that comprise this series, see the detailed list of accessions and/or record units below.
  • For a history of the creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.



Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1877
  • 1877-1975


  • Museums
  • Museums--Administration
  • Museums--Collection management



Local number

SIA RS00292

Physical description

336 cu. ft. processed holdings

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