The Papers of Joseph Henry: January 1850-December 1853, The Smithsonian Years

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The documents in Volume 8 of The Papers of Joseph Henry trace Joseph Henry's (1797-1878) early years as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Topics include his struggles to gain support for his program of activities, the hiring of Spencer F. Baird as Assistant Secretary in charge of the natural history collections, creation of the International Exchange Service, and a campaign to raise additional funds for the fledgling Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • International Exchange Service (IES)
  • United States National Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes photographs, notes on style and appendices. Work is extensively footnoted.

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Contact information

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




  • Secretariats
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • SI, Early History
  • Museums
  • Scientists
  • Development
  • Museum publications


Volume 8

Physical description

xlvii, 548 pages

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