Agency history, 1846-

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  • Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Administration


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.
  • Board of Regents, Executive Committee, 1846-1948, (RU 2). Finding Aid
  • Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Committees,, accessed August 18, 2021.
  • The Executive Committee of the Board of Regents is the administrative body designated to act for the Regents when the full Board is not in session, and to carry out special assignments made by the Board from time to time.
  • The Committee was provided by the Act of August 10, 1846, creating the Smithsonian Institution. In the early years this body discharged many responsibilities for the Board, which met only twice a year and could scarcely be assembled with any speed, given the state of transportation. Thus, many of the early members were Regents already residing or stationed in Washington. While some of the Executive Committee's more routine duties, such as auditing Smithsonian accounts, have been delegated to professional administrators, the Committee remains a central agenda body for the Regents.
  • The Executive Committee consists of three members; two of the three members must be citizen Regents. The current role of the Executive Committee is to assist the Board of Regents by setting the agendas for Regent business meetings; reviewing the meeting minutes before going to the Board for approval; executing actions delegated to it by the Board; monitoring the progress of the Institution by consultation with the Secretary between meetings; acting on the Board's behalf between business meetings; serving as consultants to the Secretary on matters not falling within the purview of other committees; and undertaking such other matters and review such other issues as may be directed from time to time by the Board of Regents.

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1846
  • 1846-


  • Museums
  • Museum trustees
  • Museums--Administration


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00079

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