Agency history, 1964-

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  • Chin, Cecilia H
  • Gurney, Susan
  • Ratzenberger, Katherine
  • Walker, William Bond 1930-


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
  • The Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Library was established in 1964 as a joint operation of the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). Previously there had been collections of art books and materials in various Smithsonian buildings; but there was no official library. The official Library was first housed in the Arts and Industries Building but moved in 1968 into the newly renovated Old Patent Office Building along with the two museums. The building was then renamed the Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Building. In 1980, the building's name was again changed to the National Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery Building. As a result of the name change, the Library became the National Museum of American Art (NMAA) and Portrait Gallery Library. In 2000, NMAA was renamed the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
  • William Bond Walker was appointed Librarian in 1965 and held that position until 1979. Katherine Ratzenberger was named Acting Librarian in 1980, followed by Acting Librarian Susan R. Gurney in 1981. Cecilia H. Chin served as Librarian, 1982- .
  • For a history of the larger 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


  • 1964
  • 1964-


  • Museum libraries
  • Art museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00161

Full Record

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