Smithsonian Holds Its First Two Lecture Series




Date: March 16-May 11, 1849


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The Smithsonian begins presenting scientific lectures, as included in first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry's "Programme of Organization" for the Institution. From March 16 to March 30, at Carusi's saloon, Professor Koeppen of Denmark speaks on "Attica and Athens." From April 30 to May 11, Edward Hitchcock delivers a six-part lecture series on geology. This is the first lecture series to be delivered in the Smithsonian Building's lecture room, located in the east wing.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Hitchcock, Edward
  • Koeppen, Adolphus Louis
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Lecture Hall
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Programme of Organization


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Engraving of Lecture Hall in Smithsonian Institution Building, Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number SIA2011-2390.
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry: The Smithsonian Years, January 1847-December 1849, Volume 7, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996, p. 522.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, p. 272.

Contact information

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


March 16-May 11, 1849


  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Geology
  • Secretaries

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