Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 165
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution. Disbursement Clerk
Dates:
1882-1907
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5.66 cu. ft. (9 document boxes) (2 tall document boxes)
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
Prior to 1873 all accounts for the National Museum were paid by the Smithsonian Institution and audited by the Executive Committee. From 1873 until 1888, bills for the United States National Museum (USNM) were approved by the Secretary and disbursed by the disbursing agent at the Department of the 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.
Records of the Disbursement Clerk include 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 staff as a clerk, November 1880, although he was also called bookkeeper, assistant, and cashier. In 1884 he became 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 and Museum federal funds. In 1905 Karr was discharged from his duties on charges of embezzlement, and W. I. Adams was appointed to fill Karr's position.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered 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 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Karr, William W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adams, W. I. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Zoological Park (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. International Exchange Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of the Interior Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of the Treasury Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts and Industries Building (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Administration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Appropriations and expenditures Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Budget process Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Budget Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letterpress copybooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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