Spencer F. Baird and his Collectors

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Details the relationship between Spencer Fullerton Baird, Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1850 to 1878, and Secretary from 1878 to 1887, with a network of volunteer collectors across the United States from the 1850s through the 1880s. The volunteers sent in observations on the weather and natural history of their region, as well as natural history and anthropological specimens for the United States National Museum. Baird cultivated these relationships, writing 3500 to 5000 letters per year.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • United States National Museum
  • Meteorological Project


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History Vol. 9, No. 4 (Journal)

Contact information

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




  • Antiquities
  • Natural History
  • Secretaries
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Specimens
  • Anthropology
  • National Collections
  • Volunteers
  • Meteorology
  • Natural history


United States

Physical description

pp. 635-645

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