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After receiving a request for information on a descendant of Smithsonian Institution founder James Smithson, who died childless, the author wrote this article which cites other obtuse requests for information she and other members of the Architectural History and Historic Preservation Office staff receive from the public.


Smithson, James 1765-1829


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

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


Spring 1991


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Public relations
  • Information services

Physical description

pgs. 2 & 3

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