Permanent Administrative Files,
1877-1975
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 192
Creators:
United States National Museum
Dates:
1877-1975
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
337.16 cu. ft. (672 document boxes) (116 microfilm reels)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
Records prior to 1907 consist mostly of incoming correspondence (outgoing correspondence can be found in record unit 112). After 1907 the records contain both incoming and outgoing correspondence. Much of the material consists of routine public inquiries. In addition, these records document museum accessions and Smithsonian expeditions and field trips. Other topics include Smithsonian participation in expositions, operation of certain museum divisions, and miscellaneous subjects. Accession records include: data on the Herber R. Bishop jade collection; William Joseph Hammer collection of incandescent lamps, 1905; Robert Ward collection of ferns, 1905-1906; transfer of the United States Patent Office collections to the United States National Museum, 1906-1909; Hubert G. Squires collection of Chinese porcelain; Hippisley collection of Chinese porcelain, 1909-1912; collections from the Arizona fossil forest; E. A. Wakefield collection of Basuto pottery; James D. S. Chalmers collection of minerals; McIntire collection of historical objects; Charles Fuller Baker collection from the Galapagos Islands; United States National Museum collection of postage stamps; Isaac Lea collection of gems and mollusks; George D. Seymour collection of clocks; Joseph Priestley collection of scientific apparatus; Robert C. Hall ethnological collection; Dwight J. Partello bequest; John B. Bernadou bequest; Bernard Rogan Ross ethnological collections; Mrs. James W. Pinchot collection of textiles; Richard Mansfield collection of theatrical costumes; B. F. Chandler herbarium; Morris Loeb collection of chemical compounds; Donn collection of Lincoln relics; Frank S. Collins herbarium and library; Oldroyd collection of Lincoln relics; Thomas Jefferson writing desk; Richard E. Byrd airplane "Josephine Ford"; Walter W. Holmes fossil bird bone collection; Brush-Swan electrical apparatus collection; collection of first ladies' gowns in the United States National Museum; Virgil Michael Brand coin collection; Charles Russell Orcutt natural history collections; Isobel H. Lenman collection of Old World archaeology; American period costume collection in the United States National Museum; Charles A. Lindbergh collection of personal memorabilia; Nordenskold Mesa Verde collection; Joseph Nelson Rose collection of cacti; Osborne collection of Guatemalan textiles; United States National Museum collection of building stones; the Holt collection of birds from South America, 1936-1940; the Annie H. Hegeman lace and textile collection; the United States National Museum's collection of Jean Leon Gerome Ferris paintings; James Townsend Russell anthropological collection; the Harvey Harlow Nininger meteorite collection; the Hope diamond.
Records related to Smithsonian expeditions and field work include: Mexican-United States Boundary Commission; expeditions and collecting in the Philippine Islands, 1903-1905; University of Pennsylvania expedition to Babylonia, 1887-1888; Metropolitan Museum of Art Expedition to Egypt, 1909; Arthur deC. Sowerby collecting trips to China, 1909-1936; Owen Bryant-William Palmer expedition to Java, 1905-1910; Smithsonian-Roosevelt African expedition, 1909; Rainey African expedition, 1911; Smithsonian-Harvard expedition to Altai Mountains, Siberia, 1912; National Geographic Society-Yale University expedition to Peru, 1915; Smithsonian-Universal Film Manufacturing Company African Expedition, 1920; David C. Graham collecting work in China, 1925-1940; Hugh McCormick Smith collecting work in Siam; Marsh-Darien expedition, 1924; Smithsonian biological survey of the Panama Canal Zone, 1911-1912; Ellsworth Paine Killip collecting work in Europe, 1935, and Venezuela, 1943-1944; Henry Bascom Collins, Jr., field work in Mississippi and Louisiana, 1938; Herbert Girton Deignan's collecting work in Siam, 1936-1937; the Johnson-Smithsonian Deep Sea Expedition to the West Indies, 1933; Stanley John's collecting work in the British West Indies, 1935-1938; Charles W. Gilmore and Frank H. H. Roberts collecting work in Arizona, 1937; the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Archeological Expedition to Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1938-1939; Matthew William Stirling's field work in Mexico, 1940-1946; the National Geographic Society-University of Virginia Expedition to the South Pacific Islands, 1939; Walter W. Taylor, Jr.'s, archeological field work in Mexico, 1940-1945; Floyd A. McClure's bamboo investigations in Mexico and Central and South America, 1943-1944; Henri Pittier's botanical field work in Venezuela, 1944-1946; Philip Hershkovitz field work in Colombia, 1946-1950; the Finn Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, 1946-1948; Brina Kessel field work in Alaska, 1950; Clifford Evans, Jr., field work in Ecuador, 1954-1958; Marshall T. Newman field work in Peru, 1955-1957; James Paul Chapin collecting work in Africa, 1957; Ralph S. Solecki field work in Iraq, 1954-1959.
Records that document Smithsonian involvement in expositions include: South Carolina and West Indian Exposition, Charleston, 1902; Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904; Jamestown (Virginia) Tercentenary Exposition, 1907; International Photographic Exposition, Dresden, 1909; World's Columbian Exposition, 1896; Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915; International Silk Exposition, New York, 1921; Pageant of Progress Exposition, Chicago, 1922; Sesquicentennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1926; Progress Exposition, New Haven, 1926; International Exposition, Seville, Spain, 1927; Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago, 1931; Great Lakes Exposition, Cleveland, 1936; New York World's Fair, 1939; Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, 1939; Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas, 1936; Greater Texas and Pan American Exposition, 1937; Port-au-Prince Bicentennial Exposition, Haiti, 1949.
Records related to the origin or operation of subdivisions of the United States National Museum include: development of the Division of Textiles; history of the National Herbarium, 1886-1908; development of the Division of Medicine; development of the Division of Mineral Technology, 1914; Traveling Exhibit Service; Division of Graphic Arts; Division of Numismatics.
Miscellaneous topics covered by these records include: establishment of Bermuda Biological Station, 1900-1904; United States military operations against insurgents in the Philippine Islands, 1904; the Lincoln Memorial Commission, 1913; proposed construction of a George Washington Memorial; National Museum involvement in search for the Port Orford meteorite; exhibition of the "Spirit of St. Louis"; National Museum exhibition of objects from World War I; use of the National Museum Building by the Bureau of War Risk Insurance in World War I; proposed creation of a National Museum of Engineering and Industry under Smithsonian control; Samuel P. Langley's aerodrome experiments; Smithsonian activities during World War II, particularly the evacuation of United States National Museum collections from Washington; A. Remington Kellogg's work on the Governmental Advisory Committee on Oceanography and the International Whaling Commission; United States National Museum correspondence with Phineas T. Barnum, 1882-1891; Washington A. Roebling's mineral collections.
Most of the correspondence is directed to the officer in immediate charge of the United States National Museum (Richard Rathbun, 1897-1918; William deC. Ravenel, 1918-1925; Alexander Wetmore, 1925-1948; A. Remington Kellogg, 1948-1962) with lesser amounts to John Enos Graf, who was appointed Associate Director, United States National Museum, in 1931. Also, a smaller amount of correspondence is addressed to the Secretary of the Smithsonian (Spencer F. Baird, 1878-1887; Samuel P. Langley, 1887-1906; Charles D. Walcott, 1907-1927; Charles G. Abbot, 1928-1944; Alexander Wetmore, 1944-1952; Leonard Carmichael, 1953-1964) and to various museum curators. This correspondence was usually referred to the chief administrator of the United States National Museum for response.

Historical Note
Historical Note
In 1902 the Museum's Division of Correspondence and Documents instituted a numeric filing system for the general correspondence of the United States National Museum. That correspondence, as found in this record unit, comprises most of the central administrative files of the Museum. Prior to 1902, museum correspondence had been filed alphabetically by correspondent (see record unit 189). Beginning in 1862 the accession records of the National Museum had been filed using a numeric system similar to that later adopted for correspondence. Finally in 1924 the two numbering systems were integrated.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 192, United States National Museum, Permanent Administrative Files

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rathbun, Richard, 1852-1918 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ravenel, W. de C. (William de Chastignier), 1859-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wetmore, Alexander, 1886-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kellogg, Remington, 1892-1969 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taylor, Frank A. (Frank Augustus), 1903-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graf, John Enos Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carmichael, Leonard, 1898-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bryant, Owen Frederick, 1882-1958 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brand, Virgil Michael Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnum, P. T. (Phineas Taylor), 1810-1891 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baker, C. F. (Charles Fuller), 1872-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baur, Georg Herman Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bernadou, John B. (John Baptiste), 1858-1908 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 1888-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chalmers, James D. S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chandler, B. F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bishop, Heber Reginald, 1840-1902 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chapin, James Paul 1889-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collins, Frank Shipley, 1848-1920 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collins, Henry Bascom, 1899-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Evans, Clifford, 1920-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gilmore, Charles W. (Charles Whitney), 1874-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graham, David Crockett Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Robert C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hegeman, Annie May Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hershkovitz, Philip Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holmes, Walter W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
John, Stanley Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kessel, Brina Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Killip, Ellsworth Paine, 1890- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lea, Isaac, 1792-1886 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lenman, Isobel H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Loeb, Morris, 1863-1912 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McClure, Floyd Alonzo, 1897-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nininger, Harvey Harlow, 1887- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Orcutt, Charles Russell, 1864-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Partello, Dwight J., 1841-1920 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pinchot, Mrs. James W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Priestley, Joseph, 1733-1804 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roberts, Frank H. H. (Frank Harold Hanna), 1897-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ross, Bernard Rogan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Hugh M. (Hugh McCormick), 1865-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sowerby, Arthur de Carle, 1885-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taylor, Walter W., Jr. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wakefield, E. A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ward, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Deignan, H. G. (Herbert Girton), 1906-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stirling, Matthew Williams, 1896-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome, 1863-1930 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mansfield, Richard, 1857-1907 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hippisley, Alfred Edward, d. 1939 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pittier, Henri, 1857-1950 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palmer, William, 1856-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rose, J. N. (Joseph Nelson), 1862-1928 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seymour, George Dudley, 1859-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hammer, William Joseph, 1858-1934 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Solecki, Ralph S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newman, Marshall Thornton, 1911-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Russell, James Townsend, d. 1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Correspondence and Documents Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bermuda Biological Station for Research Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone (1911-1912) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brush-Swan Electrical Apparatus Collection Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Donn Collection of Lincoln Relics Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Engineering and Industry Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
George Washington Memorial Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Governmental Advisory Committee on Oceanography Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holt Collection of South American Birds Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Whaling Commission Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Lincoln Memorial Commission Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McIntire Collection of Historical Objects Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nordenskold Mesa Verde Collection Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oldroyd Collection of Lincoln Relics Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Osborne Collection of Guatemalan Textiles Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Patent Office Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Traveling Exhibition Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Swan-Brush Electrical Apparatus Collection Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States-Mexican International Boundary Commission (1891-1894) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Herbarium Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Bureau of War Risk Insurance Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Arts and Industries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Engineering and Industries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spirit of St. Louis (Airplane) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian African Expedition (1909-1910) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian-Harvard Expedition to the Altai Mountains, (1912) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metropolitan Museum of Art Expedition to Egypt (1909) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Exposition (1927 : Seville, Spain) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Century of Progress Exposition (1933 : Chicago) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Archeological Expedition to Vera Cruz (1938-1939 : Mexico) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York World's Fair (1939) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Port-au-Prince Bicentennial Exposition (1949 : Haiti) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian-Universal Film Manufacturing Company African Expedition (1920) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Texas Centennial Exposition (1936 : Dallas) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Boundary Commission, United States-Mexican (1891-1894) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson-Smithsonian Deep Sea Expedition to the West Indies (1933) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Finn Ronn Antarctic Research Expedition (1946-1948) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Great Lakes Exposition (1936 : Cleveland) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Photographic Exposition (1909 : Dresden) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pageant of Progress Exposition (1922 : Chicago) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama-California Exposition (1915-1916 : San Diego, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Progress Exposition (1926 : New Haven) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition (1901-1902 : Charleston) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rainey African Expedition (1911-1912) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greater Texas and Pan American Exposition (1937) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Silk Exposition (1921 : New York) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Geographic Society-University of Virginia Expedition to the South Pacific Islands (1939) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sesquicentennial Exposition (1926 : Philadelphia) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Pennsylvania Expedition to Babylonia (1887-1888) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marsh-Darien Expedition (1924) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peruvian Expeditions (1912-1915) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jamestown (Virginia) Tercentenary Exposition (1907) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940 : San Francisco, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Administration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Collection management Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hope diamond Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Port Orford meteorite Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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