Dillon Ripley: Bird Man, Empire Builder, Charming Seducer, Patrician, Arrogant, Brilliant, Conspicuously Successful Keeper of the Nation's Attic

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley is interviewed about his childhood, Yale University days, his family, and his early influences. Early history of the founding of the Smithsonian Institiution and James Smithson is given. Ripley is asked to comment on his predessors. The article lists the museums Ripley has added to the Smithsonian along with his achievements in research, conservation, and preservation.


Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

The Washingtonian (Journal)

Contact information

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


December 1979


  • Tenure
  • Animals
  • Secretaries
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • SI, Early History
  • Birds
  • Successful people
  • Ornithology

Physical description

pp. 139-142, 208-217

Full Record

View Full Record