The Smithsonian Institution

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Popular general history of the Smithsonian Institution from founding until 1929. Includes fairly extensive history of the bequest and Congressional debates, including biographies of Smithson, the first four Secretaries, and Regents Choate, Jefferson Davis, Agassiz, Asa Gray, Dana, Sherman and Taft. Also gives background on expeditions, U.S. National Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Zoo and the Astrophysical Observatory.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • Goode, G. Brown (George Brown) 1851-1896
  • Mann, William M. 1886-1960
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Natural History Building


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Volume 1 of the Smithsonian Scientific Series. Photographic plates include aerial views of National Mall, Smithsonian buildings (including SAO field stations), George Brown Goode, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, William M. Mann and National Zoo pictures, the Secretaries, the Board of Regents, National Air Museum exhibits, the Children's room, Natural History Exhibits and Smithsonian staff.

Contained within


Contact information

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




  • Herbert Ward African Collection
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Art
  • Field (Observing) Stations
  • Secretaries
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Art objects
  • Museum publications


Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)

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