Goode's Plan for National Museum Exhibits

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George Brown Goode, first as curator, then assistant director, of the United States National Museum begins to plan the exhibitions for the new National Museum building (later the Arts and Industries Building), under Secretary Spencer F. Baird's direction. Goode's guiding philosophy is that it should be a museum of record to preserve the material foundation of scientific knowledge, a museum of research to be a resource for scientific investigators, and an educational museum utilizing its specimens and artifacts to illustrate every kind of natural object and every manifestation of human thought and activity. In 1880, while he is commissioner to the Berlin International Fishery Exposition, he visits all the principal museums in Germany, Italy, and Great Britain, gaining many important ideas for the plan of the National Museum.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Goode, G. Brown (George Brown) 1851-1896
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Berlin International Fisheries Exposition)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 45
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1879, p. 69-71
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1880, p. 45-46
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1881, p. 81-88

Contact information

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




  • Assistant Secretaries
  • Description and travel
  • Policies
  • Fairs
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Museum techniques
  • Travel
  • Expositions


  • Great Britain
  • Italy
  • Germany

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