Archives Office, Smithsonian Institution Building

ID: 2003-9567

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1897

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 562, Box 1, Folder Photographs - Interior - SIB

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  • In 1894 a room on the fourth floor, East Wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building (SIB), the "Castle," was converted for use as the Smithsonian Institution Archives. It was furnished with walnut cabinets for storage of early manuscripts and correspondence as well as drawings, photographs, and plans of the Institution. Over a large worktable in the center of the room, a combination gas-electric chandelier hangs from the pressed tile ceiling. Beneath the two framed pictures to the right of the door can be seen the mouth-piece of an "oral-annunciator," an early type of intercom installed throughout the East Wing in 1884.
  • A bust of the first Smithsonian Secretary, Joseph Henry, is on the wall to the right. A replica of the James Smithson memorial plaque in Genoa, Italy, can be seen on the floor to the right of the door.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Smithsonian Institution Building East Wing
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


For information see: Stamm, Richard E., The Castle, An Illustrated History of the Smithsonian Building, 2nd edition, p. 65.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 562, Box 1, Folder Photographs - Interior - SIB

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. 1897

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Museum archives
  • Fourth Floor
  • Intercom


  • Photographic print
  • Interior

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Sepia; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Interior; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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