1918 Annual Report, Section of Photography

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1918 Annual Report for the Department of Photography written by Loring W. Beeson, Photographer for the US National Museum, reporting on his activities in the course of the past year. Includes discussion of his work with the Office of Naval Intelligence during WWI.


  • United States National Museum Section of Photography
  • United States Navy
  • Smithsonian Year


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The Department of Photography began in 1883 as the Section of Photography under Photographer of the US National Museum Thomas Smillie's custody. Loring W. Beeson succeed Smillie as Custodian and Photographer upon Smillie's death in 1917.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 158, Box 57, Folder 16

Contact information

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


June 1918

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Photography
  • WW I
  • Report - Smithsonian
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2014-06986 and SIA2014-06987 and SIA2014-06988

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 Color: Color Size: 8.5w x11h Type of Image: Document Medium: Paper

Full Record

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[[centered]] A N N U A L R E P O R T 1917-1918 [[each letter underlined]]S E C T I O N O F P H O T O G R A P H Y[[/underlined]] [[/centered]]
Annual Report of the Section of Photography for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 1918. 1 During this fiscal year there has been but little activity in the Section of Photography due to the unusual amount of work thrown on the Custodian because of the shortness of help in the Photographic Laboratory and the increase in the requisitions on this division. A considerable portion of the time of the Custodian was taken up in connection with war activities assigned to him by the Secretary. These duties were gladly performed and it is believed they will eventually result in the obtaining of valuable material for the photographic collections. While no accessions have been received during the year by reason of the fact that persons who would have contributed material have been exceptionally busy on war work it is to be hoped that they will be received at a future date. 2 No accessions received during the year. 3 With the exception of the photographic prints the collections of this section are in the same state of preservation as when last reported. The prints above mentioned show considerable deterioration due to the intense light in the gallery where exhibited. 4 None. 5 None. 6a None. 6b None. 7 Representatives of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Department of the Navy, have prosecuted investigations in this section, but the aims of their studies cannot be stated at this time.
-2- Several other branches of the Government have applied for and received photographic information relating to war activities. 8 None. 9 After careful consideration the conclusion has been reached that the exhibit can be improved by rearranging the material so as to show to better advantage the progressive/[[insertion]] steps [[/insertion]] in the development of photography. The separation of the historical development of photography from the modern applications of the same is still desired, and it is proposed to carry out this plan whenever the opportunity is afforded. 10a None. 10b 3093. 10c None. 10d June 30, 1917. 298,995. June 30, 1918. 298,995. 11 None.