From Bison to Biopark: 100 Years of the National Zoo

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A popular history of the National Zoological Park written for its centennial in 1989. William Temple Hornaday, Chief Taxidermist for the United States National Museum, proposed establishment of the zoo in early 1887, and later that same year the Department of Living Animals opened on the Mall as a "try-out" zoo exhibit. The history traces developments that led to the zoo's opening to the public on April 30, 1891, and tells of the various zoo directors who oversaw expansions of animal collections and buildings during the zoo's existence. The author also discusses the funding challenges faced over the years as the zoo grew to become the modern biopark it is today.


  • Hornaday, William Temple 1854-1937
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Living Animals
  • United States National Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Photographs included.

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Contact information

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




  • Zoo keepers
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Employees
  • Federal Government
  • Federal Government, Relations with SI
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)--Early History
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees

Physical description

30 pgs. (not numbered)

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