Facsimile of James Smithson's Handwritten Will

ID: 89-12894 and 96-1626

Creator: Smithson, James 1765-1829

Form/Genre: Paper

Date: c.1826

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7000

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
Download IIIF Manifest Request permissions Download image Print

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Photograph of a constructed facsimile of the double-sided, handwritten draft of James Smithson's will. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1878 from George Henry de la Batut of France.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • de la Batut, George Henry


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Negative number 89-12894 is the image without a border. Negative number 96-1626 is with a border. See 72-3960-A (pages 1 and 3) and 82-12239 (pages 2 and 4) for the handwritten will acquired by the Smithsonian from Henry de la Batut.
  • To view a digital facsimile of the Court's version of the final three-page will of James Smithson that was submitted to the Chancery Court after his death in 1829, visit The National Archives of Great Britain web site at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/image/Index/D168292?index=0&page=0.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7000

Contact information

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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Benefactors
  • Holographic wills
  • Philanthropists
  • Wills
  • Bequest
  • Wills--Great Britain


Great Britain


  • Paper
  • Document
  • Will

ID Number

89-12894 and 96-1626

Physical description

Color: Black and White Size: 8w X 10h Type of Image: Document; Medium: Photograph

Full Record

View Full Record