These records document aspects of Smithsonian history, most notably the 1854-1855 debate over allocation of the Smithsonian's endowment income.
When the Smithsonian Building burned in 1865 nearly all its records up to that time were destroyed. A very few were saved, however, and are assembled here. It is impossible to say how all the fragments came to be preserved.
Using the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 43, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Secretary, Administrative Records