The Torch, a newspaper for Smithsonian employees, was first published in 1955 by the Office of Information and later by its successor, the Office of Public Affairs. The publication appeared somewhat sporadically until 1960, when it stopped, to resume in 1965. Since that time, it has appeared monthly in a larger format. Occasional special issues mark events such as the opening of a major museum or a change in the administration of the Institution.
Articles in The Torch concern exhibitions, events, seasonal happenings, administrative changes, job moves, retirements, marriages, births, and deaths. Also included are features on individual staff members, concerning interesting aspects of their jobs, sports, or hobbies.
These records consist of two copies (when available) of each issue of The Torch. Issues since roughly 1972 also include prints of some of the photographs for that issue. Not every photograph is included-only those transferred with the records. In some instances, there is a notation that a photograph was returned to its owner. In others, there is no explanation.