Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 165
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk
Dates:
1882-1907
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.6 linear meters.
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records include copies of disbursement vouchers, statements, abstracts of disbursements, monthly disbursement statements, cash vouchers, and summary balance and debit statements; also correspondence regarding the history of the disbursement clerk position. Disbursement of funds included both the private and federal side of the Smithsonian, in particular, the operations of the USNM, National Zoological Park, and International Exchange Service. Form vouchers are also signed by Secretaries Spencer F. Baird and Samuel P. Langley. Most volumes are individually indexed. A volume list follows.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Records of the disbursement clerk consist entirely of outgoing letterpress financial statements, most of which were signed by William W. Karr. Karr was appointed to the position of "factotum" in 1879. His assignment included time-keeping, keeping accounts of expenditures and making out bills for payment for the contractors during the construction of the Arts and Industries Building. As a result of his efficiency, Karr was appointed to the USNM force as a clerk, November 1880, although he was also called bookkeeper, assistant, and cashier. In 1884 he became the accountant for the Smithsonian. Karr became disbursement clerk in 1888, and from 1888 to 1905 he held the joint position of accountant and disbursement clerk with his salary coming from both Smithsonian private funds and museum federal funds. In 1905 Karr was discharged from his duties on charges of embezzlement.
Prior to 1873, all accounts for the National Museum were paid by the Smithsonian and audited by the Executive Committee. From 1873 until 1888, bills for the USNM were approved by the Secretary and disbursed by the disbursing agent at the Department of Interior. In a similar fashion beginning in 1874, the Secretary of the Treasury disbursed Smithsonian funds and made payment on checks signed by the Secretary. In 1888 funds for the Museum and International Exchange Service as well as those from the Treasury Department were turned over to the disbursement clerk for the Smithsonian. Funds appropriated for North American Ethnology were transferred to the Smithsonian disbursement clerk in 1892.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 165, Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adams, W. I. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Karr, William W. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Disbursement Clerk Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Disbursement Clerk. United States National Museum Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Exchange Service Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Zoological Park. Department of Living Animals (USNM) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Correspondence and Documents (USNM) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Administration. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu