Brief Summary of the Smithsonian Institution's Part in World War II

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

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.


Describes the Smithsonian's involvement in the war effort including the appointment of a War Committee and its duties in promoting the strengths of the Institution; technical assistance provided to the Army, Navy, and other war agencies; construction of a geographic and related specialized knowledge staff roster; formation of the Ethnogeographic Board to bring together resources of regionalized and specialized knowledge; war research work; Inter-American activities promoting good will; wartime publications; and the use of Smithsonian library resources in undertaking this work. Special museum services offered to the general public and military personnel are also outlined.


  • Ethnogeographic Board
  • Smithsonian War Committee
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Smithsonian Library


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


"Prepared by a committee appointed by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Alexander Wetmore, consisting of Carl W. Mitman, Head Curator of Engineering, U. S. National Museum, and Webster P. True, Chief of the Editorial Division, Smithsonian Institution, in accordance with the request of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, through the Bureau of the Budget, that all agencies prepare an objective statement of their participation in the war effort."

Contained within

Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1945 (Book)

Contact information

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




  • Public relations
  • Wartime Activities
  • War Committee
  • Public programs
  • Smithsonian publications
  • World War, 1939-1945

Physical description

pp. 459-472

Full Record

View Full Record