International Exchange Service Is Terminated

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The International Exchange Service is closed at the Smithsonian. The first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry created a system of publications exchange between scholarly institutions in 1849, one of his earliest projects. After an international conference on exchanges, held in Paris in 1875, the State Department requested that the Smithsonian Institution take on the responsibility for international exchange of government publications, and the International Exchange Service carried this out until 1982. By 1992, it was primarily facilitating book donations, rather than facilitating the exchange of scholarly information, and new forms of communication were rapidly outpacing it.


International Exchange Service (IES)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution Libraries, May 20, 1992 letter to IES Users, Smithsonian Institution Archives, International Exchange Service General and Agreements File

Contact information

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


September 30, 1992


  • Terminations
  • Exchanges, Literary and scientific
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History

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