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A glossy, commercial guide to the Smithsonian. Includes background on Smithson's will and bequest, and the founding of the Institution, brief histories of the Secretaries, summaries of the histories, duties and special collections of Smithsonian bureaus such as the United States National Museum (USNM), Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, National Collection of Fine Arts, Freer Gallery of Art, National Air Museum, National Zoo, Canal Zone Biological Area (STRI), International Exchange Service, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, John F. Kennedy Center. Finally, the guide gives brief summaries on Smithsonian publications, the Library, expeditions, the Hodgkins and Langley medals, and the SI buildings. Also includes a brief bibliography of works on the history of the Smithsonian.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Collection of Fine Arts
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • International Exchange Service (IES)
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)
  • Division of Radiation and Organisms
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Hodgkins Fund and Medal
  • Natural History Building
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes photographs of James Smithson, Secretaries Joseph Henry, Spencer F. Baird, Samuel P. Langley, Charles D. Walcott, Charles G. Abbot, Alexander Wetmore, Leonard Carmichael, S. Dillon Ripley. Also photographs of exhibits in Museum of Natural History, interior of Museum of History and Technology, American Indian portraits from the collection of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Astrophysical Observatory equipment, SI employees at work, National Air [and Space] Museum exhibits, exhibits and buildings of the National Zoo, photograph of Barro Colorado Island, shots of expeditions, and photographs of SI buildings, including the Castle, Arts and Industries, Natural History Building, Freer Gallery of Art, and the Museum of History and Technology. There is also a photograph of the National Gallery of Art.

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Contact information

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




  • Scientific expeditions
  • Field Stations
  • Secretaries
  • Employees
  • Ethnology
  • Museums
  • SI Buildings
  • Awards
  • American History Building
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Exhibitions
  • Field Work
  • Langley Medal
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Museum publications


  • Barro Colorado Nature Monument (Panama)
  • North America
  • Barro Colorado Island (Panama)

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