History of Bureau of Biological Survey

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The United States Congress establishes the Division Of Economic Ornithology, headed by C. Hart Merriam, within the Division of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In an 1886 reorganization it will be made a separate Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy (later the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey). In 1890, it will begin turning over collections to the United States National Museum.


  • United States Bureau of Biological Survey
  • United States Dept. of Agriculture
  • United States National Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Guide to Smithsonian Archives, Archves and Special Collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Number 4. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983, p. 209.
  • Sterling, Keir B. Last of the Naturalists, the Career of C. Hart Merriam, revised ed. New York: Arno Press, 1977, p. 64-70.

Contact information

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


March, 1885


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Museums
  • Interagency Transfers
  • New Divisions
  • Reorganizations
  • Museum exhibits
  • Ornithology

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