These records include ledgers, account books, bills, daybooks, journals, receipted vouchers, records of payment, requisitions, cash books, and other fiscal records documenting the Smithsonian's congressional appropriations. These records deal with the financial affairs of the following Smithsonian bureaus: United States National Museum, Astrophysical Observatory, Bureau of American Ethnology, National Zoological Park, United States National Herbarium, and the International Exchange Service. Other projects of the Institution and its bureaus, such as the International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, are also documented.
When the government's natural history and ethnology collections were transferred to the care of the Smithsonian Institution in 1858, Congress provided an annual allowance of $4,000 for their support. The Smithsonian provided for any additional costs necessary to maintain, preserve, and document the collections from its private funds. From 1870 to 1871, Congress appropriated $10,000 annually for the maintenance of the collections, which became part of the United States National Museum (USNM). Beginning in 1872, Congress began appropriating funds for the "Preservation of Collections," which, along with later appropriations for "Furniture and Fixtures," and "Heating, Lighting, Telephonic and Electrical Service," constituted the major congressional appropriations for the United States National Museum. Other major congressional appropriations were made for "International Exchanges," "American Ethnology," "National Zoological Park," and "Astrophysical Observatory," as well as for exposition functions and other temporary needs of the Institution.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 93, Smithsonian Institution, Fiscal Records, Federal
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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