These records primarily document the activities of the Office of the Registrar under the direction of Richard H. Lytle, 1974-1976; Philip Leslie, 1976-1985; and Mary E. Case, 1986-1993. They include reports, minutes, and other records of the Council of Registrars and the Collection Policy and Management Committee; a subject file containing various materials on collection management issues; budget and other administrative files; records concerning collections inventories at Smithsonian museums; and extensive files documenting the OR's oversight of the Smithsonian's automated Collection Information System (CIS).
In the early 1970s, the role of the Registrar at the Smithsonian Institution began to be reconsidered. Richard H. Lytle was appointed Registrar pro tem in 1974. Lytle oversaw the decentralization of the Registrar's duties and the establishment of separate Registrars' offices in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT) in 1976. The reconstituted Office of the Registrar (OR) assumed responsibility for oversight of Institution-wide collection management issues. The OR reviewed policies developed by Smithsonian museums and assured compliance with those policies; monitored procedures used for accessioning, cataloging, and deaccessioning objects and specimens; and was involved with the inventory processes in the museums. The Smithsonian Registrar served as permanent chair for the Council of Registrars and the Collections Policy and Management Committee.
Lytle served as Registrar pro tem until 1976, when Philip Leslie was appointed Registrar. Leslie retired in 1985 and the following year Mary E. Case became director, OR. She remained in the position until the office was abolished in 1993.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 568, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Registrar, Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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