A Passion for Fossils
Planning for a Smithsonian in the 20th Century
Walcott also strove to expand the Institution both physically and scientifically. Walcott served on the National Art Committee formed in 1919 to document America’s role in World War I. The portrait collection the committee amassed later became a part of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. In 1927, Walcott launched the Smithsonian’s first strategic plan. On February 11, 1927 Walcott planned to host the Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian, a preliminary step to the Institution’s first capital campaign. Invitees included eminent scientists and academics, politicians, and prominent federal employees. Museum curators erected exhibits to display the collections and research done at the Smithsonian. Sadly, on February 9th, two days before the conference, Walcott died. The conference was hosted by Assistant Secretary Charles Greeley Abbot, who was later named Secretary.
Walcott’s Research Contributions
- Charles Doolittle Walcott Chronology
- Charles Doolittle Walcott Bibliography
- Images of Charles Doolittle Walcott
- Charles Doolittle Walcott Records at the Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Additional Records About Charles Doolittle Walcott Across the Smithsonian
- “Proceedings of Conference on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution,” February 11, 1927.
- “Charles Doolittle Walcott and the Discovery of the Burgess Shale (1909),” Celebrating 100 Years of the National Museum of Natural History website
- The Burgess Shale: Evolution’s Big Bang, online exhibit from the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
- “Burgess Shale's Weird Wonders,” Smithsonian magazine, July 2009
- The Burgess Shale, online exhibit from the Royal Ontario Museum