Correspondence and Memoranda,
1885-1914

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 167
Creators:
United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant
Dates:
1885-1914
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
14.26 cu. ft. (3 document boxes) (22 tall document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
Records consist of outgoing letterpress book correspondence concerning general fiscal matters, estimates of appropriations, appropriation and expenditure statements; certified vouchers for the disbursement clerk; and personnel matters including leaves of absence, appointments, promotions, terminations, and salaries; also included are fiscal records pertaining to USNM exhibits at international expositions. Originally these records had been kept in three separate series, (1) general museum business; (2) personnel; and (3) copied letters addressed to the Secretary transmitting vouchers for payment. These series were combined at an unknown date and volumes pertaining to exposition financial matters were added. Most of the correspondence was signed by Cox, and William De C. Ravenel. Other correspondents include Secretaries Samuel P. Langley, and Charles D. Walcott; executive curator, Frederick William True; and acting chief clerks, J. E. Rockwell, and J. L. Willige. Volumes are individually indexed. A Volume list follows.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The chief clerk's appointment was an administrative one. Under his charge was the general supervision of the expenditure of United States National Museum appropriations; preparing proposals for supplies, issuing orders for the purchasing of supplies; settlement of accounts; awarding contracts; supervision over nonscientific or specimen related correspondence; general supervision of employees, their assignments to duty, granting leaves of absence; and conducting boards of inquiry and investigation of complaints. The chief clerk also acted as special agent and at times was appointed representative of the Museum and the Smithsonian at international expositions.
William V. Cox, designated chief clerk of the Museum in 1885, was the first and last chief clerk of the Museum. When Cox left the Museum in 1902 the title of the position was changed to administrative assistant. Duties of the administrative assistant were somewhat modified but the differences between these duties and those of the chief clerk were never enumerated in the Museum reports.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 167, United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant, Correspondence and Memoranda

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ravenel, W. de C. (William de Chastignier), 1859-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cox, William Van Zandt, 1852-1923 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution -- Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Chief Clerk Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Administration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Appropriations and expenditures Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Budget Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Budget process 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