In the Beginning

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  • Article concerns the origin and development of the Smithsonian Institution Building's Castle Collection of 19th century decorative arts and furniture, one of the most important collections of its type in the United States. The author states that the collection owes its existence to three men: Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, who directed the collection be established in 1964; Richard H. Howland, appointed by Ripley as his special assistant in charge of restoring the Castle Building; and James M. Goode, hired by Howland in 1970 as Chief of the new Architecture Records Office at the Smithsonian.
  • Interviews with Howland and Goode give details involving their efforts to procure furniture and decorative artifacts to expand the Castle Collection. Howland concentrated on searching out and procuring 19th century Victorian furniture for use in the Castle and schooled Goode in furniture styles, design and quality. Under Howland's supervision, Goode became curator of the Smithsonian Institution Building and was involved in many varied tasks in addition to acquiring pieces to fill out the Castle Collection's holdings.


  • Howland, Richard H
  • Goode, James M
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Castle Collection
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Architecture Records Office
  • Office of Architectural History and Historic Preservation (OAHHP)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Individual photographs of Richard H. Howland and James M. Goode accompany the article.

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/Summer 1994


  • Secretaries
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Furnishings
  • Furniture
  • Biography
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees

Physical description

pgs. 2 & 3

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