Curatorial Records, 1886-2020

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Consists of records documenting curatorial and professional activities in the fields of technology, environmental history, electricity, and modern physics. The curatorial staff of electricity and modern physics were in the Division of Electricity, the Division of Electricity and Nuclear Energy, the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics, and the Division of Information Technology and Society prior to 2009 when, that year, they disbanded and modern physics became part of the Division of Medicine and Science, formerly known as the Division of the History of Technology, and electricity was transferred to the Division of Work and Industry. Records predating 1938 were created by the Section of Steam Transportation and the Division of Engineering within the United States National Museum. Staff members whose activities are documented in these records include Carl Weaver Mitman, Frank A. Taylor, Paul Edward Garber, Paul Forman, Bernard S. Finn, Elliot N. Sivowitch, Arthur P. Molella, W. James King, Robert P. Multhauf, Nance L. Briscoe, Jeffrey K. Stine, and Judy M. Chelnick. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and notes pertaining to inventions and inventors of dynamos and incandescent electric lighting, manufacturers of electrical equipment, donors of artifacts, electrical equipment patents, modern physics, objects in the Division's collection, and exhibitions. Also includes lecture papers, articles, and book reviews; proposals; photographs; information in regard to grants, forums, committees, conferences, symposiums, workshops, and public programs; a WMAL radio broadcast recording that features broadcaster Ted Church touring science and technology collections at the United States National Museum and interviewing curators Mitman, Taylor, and Garber; electronic mail; fellowship information; meeting agendas and minutes; proposals; reports; agreements; newspaper clippings; pamphlets; brochures; and awards. Some materials are in electronic format.


  • Mitman, Carl Weaver 1889-
  • Garber, Paul Edward 1899-1992
  • Church, Ted
  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • Forman, Paul
  • Finn, Bernard S. 1932-
  • Sivowitch, Elliot N
  • Molella, Arthur P. 1944-
  • King, W. James (William James) 1915-
  • Multhauf, Robert P
  • Briscoe, Nance L
  • Stine, Jeffrey K
  • Chelnick, Judy M
  • United States National Museum Division of Engineering
  • United States National Museum Section of Transportation and Civil Engineering
  • WMAL (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Electricity and Nuclear Energy
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Electricity and Modern Physics
  • Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Electricity
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Information Technology and Society
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of the History of Technology


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.


Alphabetic, chronologic, and unarranged

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1886
  • 1886-2020


  • Engineering
  • Electricity
  • Technology
  • Aeronautics
  • Museums
  • History
  • Physics
  • Physics--History
  • Electricity--History
  • Museums--Collection management
  • Technology--History
  • Museum curators


  • Manuscripts
  • Audiotapes
  • Phonograph records
  • Clippings
  • Black-and-white photographs
  • Color photographs
  • Brochures
  • Books
  • Black-and-white transparencies
  • Electronic mail
  • Electronic records
  • Pamphlets
  • Digital images
  • Compact discs

Local number

SIA RS00401

Physical description

  • 4 cu. ft. processed holdings
  • 23.75 cu. ft. unprocessed holdings

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