Joseph Henry's Letter to Spencer Fullerton Baird (August 16, 1862)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Spencer Fullerton Baird, then Assistant Secretary and later second Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, August 16, 1862. In the letter, Henry discusses the arrangement of shelves and cases in the Main Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle," where the United States National Museum's collection was displayed at that time. The collection would be moved to the United States National Museum Building, now the Arts and Industries Building, upon its completion in 1881.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • United States National Museum
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Main Hall
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Collections


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-1004, SIA2012-1005, and SIA2012-1006, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, pages 276-278 (Document 154).

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7002, Box 25, Folder: 9
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, The Smithsonian Years: January 1858-December 1865 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2004), 276-278

Contact information

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


August 16, 1862

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Assistant Secretaries
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • Museums
  • Museum exhibits


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2667 and SIA2012-2668 and SIA2012-2669

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 8w x 10.5h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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