Agency history, 1966-

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  • Miller, Lillian B
  • Cox, Beverly J
  • Pachter, Marc
  • Purdy, Virginia Cardwell
  • Reed, Daniel J. 1922-
  • Voss, Frederick
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.) Historian's Office


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives 1996
  • Smithsonian Institution, "The National Portrait Gallery," [], 11/08/99
  • The Department of History is responsible for conducting biographical research on the individuals represented in the collection, creating history-based exhibitions, evaluating objects proposed for acquisition, and keeping records.
  • The Historian's Office was established in 1966 when Daniel J. Reed was appointed the first Historian. Reed resigned in 1968 and Virginia Cardwell Purdy became Acting Historian. Beverly J. Cox was appointed Historian in 1970. A year later, Lillian B. Miller was appointed Historian and Cox became Assistant Historian. Miller continued to serve as Historian until 1974 when she became Editor of the Charles Willson Peale Papers. Marc Pachter was appointed Historian in 1975 and served in that capacity through 1990. Frederick Voss was Historian, 1994-1996, and Senior Historian, 1997-present. The office was renamed the Department of History around 1995.

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1966
  • 1966-


Art museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00095

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