The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of its First Half Century

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


  • This volume contains a preface by President William McKinley and the following essays: James Smithson, The Benefactors of the Institution, and The Astrophysical Observatory, by Samuel Pierpont Langley; The Founding of the Institution, 1835-1846, The Establishment and the Regents, The Three Secretaries, and The Smithsonian Buildings and Grounds, by George Brown Goode; The Smithsonian Library and The Smithsonian Publications, by Cyrus Adler; An Account of the United States National Museum and Exploration Work of the Smithsonian Institution, by Frederick William True; The Bureau of Ethnology by William J. McGee; The National Zoological Park by Frank Baker; Biographical Sketch of George Brown Goode, by David Starr Jordan; Physics, by Thomas Corwin Mendenhall; Mathematics, by Robert Simpson Woodward; Astronomy, by Edward Singleton Holden; Chemistry and Meteorology, by Marcus Benjamin.
  • The volume also contains the following chapters: Geology and Mineralogy, by William North Rice; Paleontology, by Edward Drinker Cope; Botany, by William Gilson Farlow; Zoology, by Theodore Gill; Anthropology, by Jesse Walter Fewkes; Geography, by Gardiner Greene Hubbard; Bibliography, by Henry Carrington Bolton; The Cooperation of the Smithsonian Institution with other Institutions of Learning, by Daniel Coit Gilman; Organization of the Work of Societies, and the Publication of Scientific Literature in the United States, by John Shaw Billings; Relation Between the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, by Ainsworth Rand Spofford.


  • Adler, Cyrus 1863-1940
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Baker, Frank 1841-1918
  • Benjamin, Marcus 1857-1932
  • Billings, John Shaw 1838-1913
  • Bolton, Henry Carrington
  • Cope, E. D (Edward Drinker) 1840-1897
  • Farlow, W. G (William Gilson) 1844-1919
  • Fewkes, Jesse Walter 1850-1930
  • Gill, Theodore Nicholas
  • Gilman, Daniel Coit
  • Goode, G. Brown (George Brown) 1851-1896
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Holden, Edward Singleton
  • Hubbard, Gardiner G (Gardiner Greene) 1822-1897
  • Jordan, David Starr
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • McGee, W. J. 1853-1912
  • McKinley, William
  • Mendenhall, Thomas Corwin
  • Rhees, William Jones 1830-1907
  • Rice, William North 1845-1928
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Spofford, Ainsworth Rand 1825-1908
  • True, Frederick William 1858-1914
  • Woodward, Robert Simpson 1849-1924
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology
  • Smithsonian Institution Establishment of
  • Library of Congress
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • United States National Museum
  • United States President


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


The appendix consists of a chronology of principal events in the history of the Smithsonian Institution, compiled by William Jones Rhees. Contains an index.

Contained within


Contact information

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




  • Geography
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Architecture
  • Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Secretaries
  • Zoology
  • Science
  • SI, Early History
  • Anthropology
  • Mathematics
  • Museums
  • Plants
  • Societies
  • Paleontology
  • Physics
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Chemistry
  • Benefactors
  • Education
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Astronomy
  • Meteorology
  • Bibliography
  • Botany
  • Buildings
  • Museum publications
  • Science--Societies, etc

Physical description

Number of pages : 872; Page numbers : iii-x; 1-856

Full Record

View Full Record