Groundbreaking for the Natural History Building

ID: SIA2009-2200 and 61657

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: June 15, 1904

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 60, Folder: 5

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Groundbreaking of the new United States National Museum Building, now the National Museum of Natural History, took place on June 15, 1904. As a crowd of observers looks on, a woman using a spade lifts the first piece of dirt. SI employees, Secretary Langley, and architects Joseph Coerten Hornblower and James Rush Marshall all attended the ceremony.


  • Hornblower, Joseph C (Joseph Coerten) 1848-1908
  • Marshall, James Rush 1851-1927
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Natural History Building


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 60, Folder: 5

Contact information

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


June 15, 1904

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Natural history museums
  • Women
  • Groundbreaking
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • New Museums
  • Employees
  • Event
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)
  • Washington (D.C.)


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid
  • Event

ID Number

SIA2009-2200 and 61657

Physical description

Color: Sepia; Size: 13w x 9.7h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Event; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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