Medical Collections Transferred from Smithsonian to the Army Medical Museum

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The medical collections, including a large collection of human crania as well as specimens relating to anatomy, physiology, medicine and surgery, are transferred to the Army Medical Museum. In return, the Surgeon General agrees to send to the National Museum any ethnological artifacts in their collections. It is Joseph Henry's goal to remove from the Smithsonian what he felt is the burden and expense of caring for the national collections, particularly when there are other federal entities devoted to the research and preservation of such items.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Army Medical Museum (U.S.)
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Dept. of the History of Science and Medicine
  • United States Army Surgeon General


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, January 1866-December 1878: The Smithsonian Years (Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2007), xxvii-xxviii, 219-20.
  • "Report of the Secretary," Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1868 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1869), 14-16.

Contact information

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


January 21, 1869


  • Human biology
  • Policies
  • Secretaries
  • Anatomy
  • History
  • Physical anthropology
  • Medicine
  • Artifacts
  • Deaccessions
  • Specimens
  • Interagency Transfers
  • Skeleton
  • Physiology
  • National Collections
  • Medicine--History
  • Medical sciences

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