Jane Turner Appointed Library Clerk

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Jane Wadden Turner (1818-1896) is appointed Library Clerk at the Smithsonian by her brother, William Wadden Turner, who is the librarian. After he dies in 1859, she is appointed Librarian, the first woman professional at the Smithsonian. She moved back and forth between the Smithsonian Library and International Exchange Service, as well as the Library of Congress, until she resigns in 1887 when Secretary Samuel Langley reorganizesd the library and a male librarian, John Murdock, takes her place.


  • Turner, William W (William Wadden) 1810-1859
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Murdoch, John 1852-
  • Turner, Jane Wadden
  • Library of Congress
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Smithsonian Library
  • International Exchange Service (IES)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Dall, Caroline Wells Healey, "In Memoriam. Susan Wadden Turner. Professor William Wadden Turner, librarian of the Patent Office, Washington, D.C. Jane Wadden Turner. Recorder of Scientific Collections and Exchanges at the Smithsonian Institution for thirty years and for twenty years Assistant Librarian to the Library of Congress." Privately Printed, 1898

Contact information

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




  • Women
  • Personnel management
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Employees
  • Libraries
  • History
  • Exchanges, Literary and scientific
  • Librarians
  • Libraries--History
  • Women--Employees
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees

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