Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1905

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  • Present: Melville W. Fuller, Charles W. Fairbanks, Orville H. Platt, Robert Adams, Jr., Hugh A. Dinsmore, Andrew D. White, John B. Henderson, and Alexander G. Bell. Also Present: Secretary Samuel P. Langley. Members not present were Shelby M. Cullom, Francis M. Cockrell, Robert R. Hitt, James B. Angell, George Gray, and Richard Olney.
  • The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. The secretary asked for the Board's approval of his selection of Dr. Cyrus Adler as a new Assistant Secretary in charge of the Library and Exchanges. Senator Henderson presented a resolution approving the appointment which was adopted.
  • Senator Henderson, in the Absence of Dr. Angell, Chairman, presented the report of the committee nominated on January 25, 1905, to examine the art collection of Charles Lang Freer and discuss with him the conditions under which he proposes to give his art collection to the Smithsonian Institution. The committee travelled to Detroit and spent 4 or 5 days there but had difficulty assessing the value of the collection. The committee had made no conclusions and resolved to consider the matter further, until the next meeting of the Board of Regents. It was agreed that Mr. Freer would come to Washington during the next session of Congress and exhibit such portions of his collection as might fairly represent the whole.
  • The Secretary stated that Captain John Donnell Smith of Baltimore had donated to the Institution his entire botanical collection, comprising one hundred and twenty five thousand plants and nearly sixteen hundred books on Botany. The Secretary reported that until Congress appropriated funds for a better interment, he had deposited the remains of James Smithson in a small room on the left of the north entrance to the building. The remains had been examined by medical experts and found to be in a remarkable state of preservation. They had now been put in a suitable casket and were ready to be transferred to the tomb, and he would ask the regents when the meeting had adjourned to proceed to the room and witness the deposit of the casket.


  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Smith, John Donnell
  • Adams, Robert, Jr
  • Cockrell, Francis Marion
  • Cullom, Shelby Moore
  • Dinsmore, Hugh Anderson
  • Fuller, Melville Weston 1833-1910
  • Platt, Orville Hitchcock
  • Hitt, Robert Roberts
  • Adler, Cyrus 1863-1940
  • Angell, James Burrill 1829-1916
  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922
  • Gray, George 1840-1925
  • Henderson, J. B (John Brooks) 1870-1923
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • White, Andrew Dickson 1832-1918
  • Olney, Richard
  • Fairbanks, Charles Warren
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Board of Regents


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Regents Minutes
  • Title 20, Education
  • Board of Regents - Resolutions

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Board of Regents, Minutes, Volume 2 (Minute book)

Contact information

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


March 6, 1905


  • Art, Asian, Art
  • Art
  • Art, American
  • Art museums
  • Secretaries
  • Smithson tomb
  • Museums
  • History
  • Benefactors
  • Botanical specimens
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Exhibitions
  • Gifts
  • National Collections
  • Private collections
  • Art--History
  • Art, Asian, Art--Private collections
  • Art, Chinese
  • Art, Japanese
  • Art, Korean
  • Art--Exhibitions
  • Museum exhibits


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 14; Page Numbers: 462-475

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