Robert McC. Adams Appointed Secretary

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Robert McCormick Adams (1926- ) is named the ninth Secretary of the Smithsonian by the Board of Regents and assumes the post on September 17, 1984, after a ceremony on the National Mall where he is given the key to the Castle. Adams served as Provost of the University of Chicago from 1982 until 1984. In his scholarly work and 27 years of field research, Dr. Adams has focused principally on the agricultural and urban history of the Near and Middle East and the geographical and archaeological study of settlement patterns. He succeeds S. Dillon Ripley who served as the eighth Secretary from 1964 to 1984. Adams serves a ten year term as Secretary, from 1984 to 1994.


  • Adams, Robert McCormick 1926-2018
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • University of Chicago
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1984. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985, p. 408.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 4, "The Torch," February 1984, p. 1.

Contact information

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


January 21, 1984


  • Archaeology
  • Secretariats
  • Appointments
  • Secretaries
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History

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