Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution Is Held

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  • A Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution is convened in the Smithsonian "Castle" on February 11, 1927, by the Smithsonian Board of Regents "to advise with reference to the future policy and field of service of the Smithsonian Institution." William Howard Taft, Chancellor of the Board of Regents, presides, with assistance from Assistant Secretaries Charles G. Abbot and Alexander Wetmore. Regents are Chief Justice Taft, Vice President Dawes, Reed Smoot, George Wharton Pepper, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Albert Johnson, R. Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Henry White, Robert S. Brookings, Irwin B. Laughlin, Frederic A. Delano, and Dwight W. Morrow.
  • The conference is attended by member of the Establishment, Calvin Coolidge, President; Charles G. Dawes, Vice President; Frank B. Kellogg, Secretary of State; Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury; Dwight Filley Davis, Secretary of War; John G. Sargent, Attorney General; Harry S. New, Postmaster General; Curtis D. Wilbur, Secretary of the Navy; Hubert Work, Secretary of the Interior; William M. Jardine, Secretary of Agriculture; Herbert Clark Hoover, Secretary of Commerce; and James John Davis, Secretary of Labor.
  • The conferees are Edwin A. Alderman, president, University of Virginia; Hiram Bingham, Connecticut; Robert W. Bingham, Kentucky; Charles F. Brush, Ohio; Anson W. Burchard, New York; W. W. Campbell, president, University of California; Asa G. Candler, Jr., Georgia; Emory W. Clark, Michigan; Charles R. Crisp, Georgia; Harvey S. Firestone, Ohio; Simon Flexner, director, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research; L. A. Frothingham, Massachusetts; Alvan T. Fuller, Massachusetts; Elbert H. Gary, New York; Walter S. Gifford, New York; Chauncey J. Hamlin, New York; Charles Hayden, New York; Cordell Hull, Tennessee; Robert P. Lamont, Illinois; Nicholas Longworth, Ohio; H. M. Lord, Maine; John C. Merriam, president, Carnegie Institution; Jesse H. Metcalf, Rhode Island.
  • Also A. A. Michelson, president, National Academy of Sciences; Ogden L. Mills, New York; Henry Fairfield Osborn, president, American Museum of Natural History; Edwin B. Parker, Texas; John Poole, District of Columbia; John J. Raskob, Delaware; Samuel Rea, Pennsylvania; Edgar Rickard, New York; Henry M. Robinson, California; William B. Storey, Illinois; S. W. Stratton, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Silas H. Strawn, Illinois; George E. Vincent, president, Rockefeller Foundation; William Henry Welch, director, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Winsor, Massachusetts.


  • Campbell, W. W
  • Brush, Charles F
  • Parker, Edwin B
  • Gifford, Walter S
  • Poole, John
  • Rickard, Edgar
  • Raskob, John J (John Jakob) 1879-1950
  • Robinson, H. M (Henry Martin) 1845-1907
  • Flexner, Simon
  • Hamlin, Chauncey J
  • Merriam John Campbell
  • Lord, Herbert M
  • Osborn, Henry Fairfield
  • Sargeant, John G
  • New, Harry S
  • Jardine, William M
  • Kellogg, Frank B
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Coolidge, Calvin 1872-1933
  • Metcalf, Jesse Houghton
  • Michelson, A. A
  • Dawes, Charles Gates 1865-1951
  • Davis, James John
  • Stratton, Samuel Wesley
  • Mellon, Andrew W (Andrew William) 1855-1937
  • Bingham, Robert W
  • Alderman, Edwin Anderson 1861-1931
  • Bingham, Hiram 1875-1956
  • Candler, Asa Griggs 1851-1929
  • Davis, Dwight Filley 1879-1945
  • Firestone, Harvey Samuel 1868-1938
  • Frothingham, Louis Adams 1871-1928
  • Fuller, Alvan T (Alvan Tufts) 1878-1958
  • Gary, Elbert H (Elbert Henry) 1846-1927
  • Hull, Cordell 1871-1955
  • Longworth, Nicholas 1869-1931
  • Mills, Ogden 1856-1929
  • Rea, Samuel 1855-
  • Strawn, Silas Hardy 1866-
  • Burchard, Anson W
  • Clark, Emory W
  • Crisp, Charles R
  • Hayden, Charles
  • Lamont, Robert P
  • Storey, William P
  • Winsor, Robert
  • Welch, William Henry
  • Vincent, George E
  • Work, Hubert
  • Wilbur, Curtis D
  • Taft, William H. (William Howard) 1857-1930
  • Johnson, Albert
  • Brookings, Robert Somers
  • Delano, Frederic Adrian
  • Ferris, Woodbridge Nathan
  • Smoot, Reed 1862-1941
  • Morrow, Dwight Whitney
  • Newton, Walter Hughes
  • White, Henry 1850-1927
  • Laughlin, Irwin Boyle
  • Choate, Charles F., Jr 1866-1927
  • Pepper, George Wharton
  • Moore, R. Walton
  • Hoover, Herbert 1874-1964
  • Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Chief Justice of the United States
  • United States. Secretary of State
  • United States. Secretary of the Treasury
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Chancellor of the Smithsonian Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents
  • United States President (1923-1929 : Coolidge)
  • United States. Office of the Vice President


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Photographs of the meeting can be found in Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Photographs, Box 99.
  • An online version of the Proceedings of the Conference can be found at:!sichronology&uri=full=3100001~!11913~!0#focus
  • Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution, February 11, 1927, City of Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1927.

Contact information

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


  • February 11, 1927
  • 1927


  • Public meetings
  • Meetings
  • Strategic planning
  • Public opinion

Full Record

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