Certificate Given to Helena Weiss by Secretary S. Dillon Ripley

ID: SIA2013-02864

Creator: Smithsonian Institution

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: October 11, 1965

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession Number 05-112, Box 2

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Certificate reads, "In the name and by authority of the Smithsonian Institution all to whom these presents shall come - greetings: know ye, that Helena M. Weiss Is hereby commissioned Admiral in the Smithsonian Navy with all the rights, privileges and emoluments, appertaining thereto and with the duty to encourage the increase and diffusion of oceanographic knowledge. In testimony whereof; I have hereunto signed my name and caused the Seal of the Smithsonian Institution to be Affixed at the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, This 11 day of Oct. Ad., 1965. [Signed] S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary." Certificate also contains a sketch of a ship and the stamp of the official Smithsionian seal.


  • Weiss, Helena M. 1909-2004
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • James Smithson Bicentennial Celebration 1965


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • This honor was awarded to Helena Weiss for her work as Registrar.
  • Helena Weiss began her career at the Smithsonian in 1931 as a junior clerk-stenographer in the Office of Correspondence and Documents. In 1935, Weiss moved to the Department of Geology, where she worked as a secretary for Dr. Ray S. Bassler. She became Chief of the Office of Correspondence and Documents in 1948. In 1956 her title was changed to "Registrar," a position she held until her retirement in 1971. Weiss was one of the first women managers at the Smithsonian.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession Number 05-112, Box 2

Contact information

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


October 11, 1965

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Women
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Museum registrars
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


Photographic print

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 9.5w x 12.7; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Photographic print

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