Agency history, 1971-

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  • Potter, Mary Grace
  • Ridgley, Katherine Neill
  • Smithsonian National Associates Program
  • Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian Associates' Reception Center


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
  • Annual Report, 1976
  • E-mail from Katherine Neill Ridgley to James A. Steed, May 21. 2002
  • The Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center (VIARC) was first created in 1971 to serve members of the National Associates Progam as the Smithsonian Associates' Reception Center. A need to expand services to members of the visiting public was also evident. The unit received its present name in 1976 and by 1977 had become an independent office. VIARC operates a variety of services intended to meet the information needs of those who enquire about Smithsonian activites in person, by mail, by telephone, as well as coordinating a program for the large number of volunteers who assist the Institution, both behind the scenes and in public. It reports to the Director of Communications.
  • Mary Grace Potter was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Associates' Reception Center in 1971 and served as Director of VIARC, 1975-2000 . Katherine Neill Ridgley succeeded Potter, serving 2002- .
  • 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


  • 1971
  • 1971-


  • Museums
  • Museums--Administration


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00346

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