An Account of the Smithsonian Institution: Its Origins, History, Objects, and Achievements

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


"This publication is intended to serve as a 'descriptive-label' to accompany the collective exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution and its dependencies. It is based upon my essay on The Smithsonian Institution, printed in 1885, in 'The Chautauquan' (Vol. V, pp. 275- 79), and upon later writings, especially, 'The Origin of the National Scientific and Educational Institution of the United States' (Report American Historical Association, 1889, pp. 53-100); 'The Genesis of the National Museum' (Smithsonian Report, 1891, II, pp. 273-380) and the article 'Smithsonian Institution' in Johnson's Cyclopaedia, new edition (Vol. VII, 1895)."


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • United States National Museum
  • International Exchange Service (IES)
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Citation information

Publication 987


"For distribution at the Atlanta Exposition."

Contained within


Contact information

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




  • Smithsonian Institution
  • SI, Early History
  • Museums
  • Management
  • Museum publications

Full Record

View Full Record