Smithsonian Institution Archives

Smithsonian Institution Archives The Smithsonian Institution Archives, part of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, collects, preserves, and makes available the history of the Smithsonian Institution.

Legal: s.si.edu/Legal
Website: siarchives.si.edu Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution Archives' (SIA) page. We hope you'll join us here on Facebook and check out our profiles on Flickr and SIA's official blog, THE BIGGER PICTURE: http://siarchives.si.edu/blog. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent with its terms of use, as described at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen. For our Privacy Policy: http://www.si.edu/Privacy

Operating as usual

04/22/2021

This #EarthDay, we think every should get to know Dr. Devra Kleiman.

In 1972, there were only about 200 golden lion tamarins in the wild. That’s when Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute biologist Kleiman stepped in.

In 1984, Kleiman and her team successfully released eight golden lion tamarins in Brazil. Thanks to her work, approximately 3,200 individuals live in the wild today. → s.si.edu/3emSxqZ
#EarthOptimism

04/21/2021

In 1958, Adventures in Science host Watson Davis interviewed Dr. Thomas M. Rivers, medical director of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, about the polio vaccine.

Listen to the audio in our collections and read along with
Smithsonian Transcription Center → s.si.edu/2QEkEK5

Ever leave a note in a guestbook at a wedding or after a stay at a hotel? ✏️Between 1999 and 2010, staff and visitors to...
04/20/2021

Ever leave a note in a guestbook at a wedding or after a stay at a hotel? ✏️

Between 1999 and 2010, staff and visitors to the Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Field Station in Belize left journal entries, illustrations, and notes to future researchers studying coral reef ecosystems.

Dive into the field station log book and a few other collection highlights at the Archives’ first-ever #AdoptABook event with Smithsonian Libraries and Archives on Wednesday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET. library.si.edu/event/adopt-book-vaults

(📷:SIA Acc. 16-231)

Ever leave a note in a guestbook at a wedding or after a stay at a hotel? ✏️

Between 1999 and 2010, staff and visitors to the Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Field Station in Belize left journal entries, illustrations, and notes to future researchers studying coral reef ecosystems.

Dive into the field station log book and a few other collection highlights at the Archives’ first-ever #AdoptABook event with Smithsonian Libraries and Archives on Wednesday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET. library.si.edu/event/adopt-book-vaults

(📷:SIA Acc. 16-231)

04/14/2021

What did spring cleaning look like for conservators at the
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1982?

Abram Lerner, the Museum's first director, discussed preservation methods on an episode of Here at the Smithsonian, which aired during commercial newscasts.

Watch the full 📽 → s.si.edu/3mOfKWX
#NationalPreservationMonth

The Smithsonian established the Horticultural Services Division to work on landscaping outside of Smithsonian museums in...
04/13/2021

The Smithsonian established the Horticultural Services Division to work on landscaping outside of Smithsonian museums in 1972.

For #NationalGardenMonth, learn about the history of
Smithsonian Gardens on our website → s.si.edu/SIGardens

The Smithsonian established the Horticultural Services Division to work on landscaping outside of Smithsonian museums in 1972.

For #NationalGardenMonth, learn about the history of
Smithsonian Gardens on our website → s.si.edu/SIGardens

Our reference team has continued to assist researchers while our reading room is closed. Here are a few recent topics th...
04/08/2021

Our reference team has continued to assist researchers while our reading room is closed. Here are a few recent topics that have landed in our inboxes:

🦀 the diet of crab-eating seals at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
🇺🇸 conservation work on National Museum of American History's Star-Spangled Banner
📽 a 1971 documentary co-produced by CBS News and the Smithsonian

Even more on today’s blog → s.si.edu/2RibX8G

Our reference team has continued to assist researchers while our reading room is closed. Here are a few recent topics that have landed in our inboxes:

🦀 the diet of crab-eating seals at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
🇺🇸 conservation work on National Museum of American History's Star-Spangled Banner
📽 a 1971 documentary co-produced by CBS News and the Smithsonian

Even more on today’s blog → s.si.edu/2RibX8G

Archivist Ellen Alers is not one for the spotlight. But as her retirement nears, we wanted to make sure to properly brag...
04/07/2021

Archivist Ellen Alers is not one for the spotlight.

But as her retirement nears, we wanted to make sure to properly brag about her work assisting and guiding hundreds of researchers at the Archives since 1998 → s.si.edu/3sZoAU2
(📷:Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History) #BecauseOfHerStory

Archivist Ellen Alers is not one for the spotlight.

But as her retirement nears, we wanted to make sure to properly brag about her work assisting and guiding hundreds of researchers at the Archives since 1998 → s.si.edu/3sZoAU2
(📷:Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History) #BecauseOfHerStory

We wrote a history of oral history at the Smithsonian. 🤯Did you know the Institution’s first oral history collection was...
04/06/2021

We wrote a history of oral history at the Smithsonian. 🤯

Did you know the Institution’s first oral history collection was established at Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in 1968? Or that we have been capturing the voices of Smithsonian employees since 1973? Learn more on the blog → s.si.edu/3dL1rOW

We wrote a history of oral history at the Smithsonian. 🤯

Did you know the Institution’s first oral history collection was established at Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in 1968? Or that we have been capturing the voices of Smithsonian employees since 1973? Learn more on the blog → s.si.edu/3dL1rOW

It’s 9:35 a.m. on Monday morning. Do you already need a break? For #NationalGardenMonth, take a walk in the park with tw...
04/05/2021

It’s 9:35 a.m. on Monday morning. Do you already need a break?

For #NationalGardenMonth, take a walk in the park with two new #SmithsonianOpenAccess puzzles.

🧩 → s.si.edu/31NxurW
🧩 → s.si.edu/31MOXk6

Even though we’ve been working from home for more than a year, our staff has continued to make our collections more acce...
04/02/2021

Even though we’ve been working from home for more than a year, our staff has continued to make our collections more accessible to researchers.

So far in 2021, we’ve added to our website:
📷 270 new historical images
📜 203 revised or new finding aids
🎙 56 newly-revised finding aids to oral histories

Dive in on our blog: s.si.edu/3mfGGO

Even though we’ve been working from home for more than a year, our staff has continued to make our collections more accessible to researchers.

So far in 2021, we’ve added to our website:
📷 270 new historical images
📜 203 revised or new finding aids
🎙 56 newly-revised finding aids to oral histories

Dive in on our blog: s.si.edu/3mfGGO

We now effortlessly peruse Japanese artist Kumataro Ito’s illustrations of nudibranchs, known as sea slugs. But our pres...
04/01/2021

We now effortlessly peruse Japanese artist Kumataro Ito’s illustrations of nudibranchs, known as sea slugs.

But our preservation team put in a lot of work to get them ready to be digitized. This #NationalPreservationMonth, read about that treatment → s.si.edu/39xBXTz

We now effortlessly peruse Japanese artist Kumataro Ito’s illustrations of nudibranchs, known as sea slugs.

But our preservation team put in a lot of work to get them ready to be digitized. This #NationalPreservationMonth, read about that treatment → s.si.edu/39xBXTz

03/30/2021

Between 1982 and 1989, TV viewers learned about the happenings at the Smithsonian through short features in a series called ✨Here at the Smithsonian✨

In one 1985 video clip on today’s blog, model maker Lora Moran discussed the process of recreating the moment man first stepped on the moon. In another from 1983, Grammy award-winning folk musician Cathy Fink demonstrated National Museum of American History's instruments. ➡ s.si.edu/2QRdRgh #WomensHistoryMonth

We’ve learned so much about the women in Smithsonian founding donor James Smithson’s family though one of our newest acc...
03/29/2021

We’ve learned so much about the women in Smithsonian founding donor James Smithson’s family though one of our newest accessions, the Hungerford Deed—but what can it tell us about women’s rights in the 18th century?

Last week on the blog ➡ s.si.edu/3tXZ6Xl #WomensHistoryMonth

03/26/2021

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re sharing one final oral history interview clip from Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute editor Lucile Quarry Mann.

In 1977, Mann described how difficult it was to get a foot in the door as a woman editor. She also shared her commitment to the the Zoo and detailed her incredible adventures from Washington, D.C., to the jungles of Sumatra with her husband, Zoo director William Mann.

Listen to clips and read the full transcript from the interviews on our website → s.si.edu/Mann

true crime              Smithsonian                      🤝Buckle up, because we set sail with the Smithsonian National M...
03/25/2021

true crime Smithsonian
🤝

Buckle up, because we set sail with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on an Arctic adventure on the latest episode of Sidedoor, a podcast from the Smithsonian. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the ~very~ suspicious death of an expedition captain. http://si.edu/sidedoor/ep-5-very-cold-case

Smithsonian
03/23/2021
Smithsonian

Smithsonian

In response to the eight people—seven of them women, six of Asian descent—killed last week in Georgia, we offer educational resources to increase understanding and deconstruct systemic oppression. Our statement and materials from across the Smithsonian:

03/19/2021

For #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re highlighting more from our oral history collections.

Dr. Olga F. Linares was an anthropologist at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from 1973 until 2008. She dedicated much of her research to the Jola, rural rice farmers in southern Senegal in West Africa. Linares earned a membership in the National Academy of Sciences, which made her only one of five scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to receive that honor.

Her interview reflects her love of the Panamanian research center, where she consistently felt supported throughout her tenure between 1973 and 2008. Linares continued to pursue her passion for research as a scientist emerita until her death in 2014. → s.si.edu/Linares

How have we been documenting the Smithsonian’s response to the pandemic?While we will collect planning documents, report...
03/17/2021

How have we been documenting the Smithsonian’s response to the pandemic?

While we will collect planning documents, reports, and other records in the future, for now, our staff has been archiving the Institution's websites → s.si.edu/3s0hgqS

Marjorie Merriweather Post was born on this day in 1887. In 1969, Smithsonian leaders raised a glass to the businesswoma...
03/15/2021

Marjorie Merriweather Post was born on this day in 1887.

In 1969, Smithsonian leaders raised a glass to the businesswoman for the donation of her 25-acre estate, now Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, to the Institution. But they were celebrating a Smithsonian museum that would never come to be.

Read the story on our blog → s.si.edu/38IwWay

03/12/2021

As Undersecretary for Science from 2010 to 2014, Dr. Eva J. Pell cracked a glass ceiling by becoming the highest-ranking woman to serve as a science manager at the Smithsonian.

In her oral history interview in our collections, Pell discussed her early life, including how her educational path was influenced by her parent’s escape from N**i Germany during World War II, her entry into academia in the early 1970s, and her path to the Smithsonian. → s.si.edu/Pell

#WomensHistoryMonth

Mary E. Massey broke barriers for women at the Smithsonian by making a name for herself in spaces then typically reserve...
03/10/2021

Mary E. Massey broke barriers for women at the Smithsonian by making a name for herself in spaces then typically reserved for men.

Though she began her career as an elevator operator in 1967, by her retirement in 1991, she was the building manager for Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. More on today’s blog: → s.si.edu/3qA1tgA

#WomensHistoryMonth

SQUAD. These women ran some of the Smithsonian’s major offices in the 1930s.They gathered for this photograph in honor o...
03/09/2021

SQUAD.

These women ran some of the Smithsonian’s major offices in the 1930s.

They gathered for this photograph in honor of Nellie H. Smith, a registrar who was retiring after 40 years at the Institution. Read about the group from historian Pam Henson → s.si.edu/3t3LWrk #WomensHistoryMonth

03/08/2021
Smithsonian

Smithsonian

When owners of a San Antonio, Texas, pecan-shelling plant reduced low wages even more, 21-year-old Emma Tenayuca led the Mexican and Mexican American workers in walking out.

#BecauseOfHerStory #InternationalWomensDay

03/05/2021

This #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re highlighting our oral history collections.

Helena M. Weiss was one of the first women managers at the Smithsonian. When she arrived in 1931, Weiss worked as a junior clerk-stenographer, but by 1956, she earned the role of registrar.

Diving into Weiss’ oral history interviews offers insight into the inner-workings of the Smithsonian from the 1930s to the 1970s. Learn about how the Smithsonian acquired the Wright Flyer, Hope Diamond, and Henry, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History's 11-ton African elephant.

Recently, we’ve uploaded the full transcripts from Weiss’ 1987 interviews. Discover what life was like for a trailblazing woman at the Smithsonian in the 20th century. ➡ s.si.edu/WeissOralHistory #BecauseOfHerStory

03/04/2021

In 1912, first lady Helen Taft donated her 1909 inaugural ball gown to the Smithsonian, establishing a precedent for future first ladies.

A recently-digitized radio episode of The World is Yours takes us on a tour of the first ladies collection exhibit at the Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building in 1936.

s.si.edu/2PtJNGF

Administrators and native Panamanians Adela Gómez and Elena Lombardo did the work of acting director at the Smithsonian ...
03/03/2021

Administrators and native Panamanians Adela Gómez and Elena Lombardo did the work of acting director at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, but never received formal recognition or titles.

Read about history of Panamanian women in leadership at the institute and Dr. Oris I. Sanjur’s historic appointment as acting director in 2020 → s.si.edu/3bXygqz

#WomensHistoryMonth

How can we learn more about the Smithsonian’s first women in science without their personal papers or complete instituti...
03/02/2021

How can we learn more about the Smithsonian’s first women in science without their personal papers or complete institutional records?

On the blog, our digital curator traced the arc of geologist Margaret W. Moodey’s career through her publications. → s.si.edu/2L8BrPf (📷 : The Library of Congress)

#BecauseOfHerStory #WomensHistoryMonth

Are you up for a challenge? This #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re asking our brilliant Smithsonian Transcription Center #volun...
03/01/2021

Are you up for a challenge?

This #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re asking our brilliant Smithsonian Transcription Center #volunpeers to help us finish transcribing the papers of Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History entomologist Doris Holmes Blake.

From 1928 to 1978, Blake studied beetles at the Smithsonian. However, she was not always compensated for her work. A new regulation allowed only one spouse to work for the government, which made her ineligible for pay by 1933. Still, Blake continued to research and illustrate for the Smithsonian. She published 96 papers and proposed 25 new genera and 818 species group names.

Join a group of #volunpeers in transcribing Blake’s personal papers, which include correspondence, diaries, photographs, and more. Each week in March, we’ll be releasing 5 new projects from this collection, so stay tuned! → s.si.edu/2neAfw9

#BecauseOfHerStory

Despite his work as a museum aide in the division of reptiles and amphibians at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural...
02/26/2021

Despite his work as a museum aide in the division of reptiles and amphibians at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Barry B. Hampton was confined to the title of laborer, as was typical for Black employees at the time.

Read about his work and long journey to a promotion during his 42 years at the Smithsonian. → s.si.edu/2nDcQbW #BHM

02/25/2021

Happy first anniversary to #SmithsonianOpenAccess! 🎉

In the last 365 days, we’ve doubled the amount of photographic prints designated as open access in our collections that are now free to you to download & reuse. Read about what's new → s.si.edu/ArchivesOpenAccess

Smithsonian's first seal, based on a portrait of founding donor James Smithson, was authorized #OTD in 1847.But what abo...
02/24/2021

Smithsonian's first seal, based on a portrait of founding donor James Smithson, was authorized #OTD in 1847.

But what about that sunburst seal we know and love? Read about Crimilda Pontes, the woman who originally designed it in 1965 ☀️ → s.si.edu/2R0l9eS (📷:2003-19535)

02/23/2021

Newly-digitized ✨Here at the Smithsonian ✨ videos are taking us back to the ‘80s.

In 1987, television audiences were introduced to Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum's new home and its latest exhibition, Contemporary Visual Expressions, which considered Black American experiences through the work of 4 contemporary artists. → s.si.edu/2ZJtDeo

"And it is on this spot –- alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation, and those who worked so hard ...
02/22/2021

"And it is on this spot –- alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation, and those who worked so hard to perfect it –- that generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role that African Americans have played in the life of our country."

On this day in 2012, President Obama spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Learn more about the history of the Museum on our website: s.si.edu/NMAAHCHistory (📷:Michael Barnes)

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
02/19/2021

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

From her position as a volunteer docent in 1968 and all the way up to her appointment to the Board of Regents in 1983, Jeannine Smith Clark transformed the Smithsonian by advocating for equity and inclusion.

Perhaps Clark’s most important role at the Smithsonian was as founding chair of the Cultural Education Committee. The group established more diverse programming, like an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, and advocated for hiring people of color at all levels.

Learn more about Clark’s decades-long devotion to the Smithsonian and the public by exploring Smithsonian Institution Archives 's web exhibit. → s.si.edu/Clark

#BlackHistoryMonth

Address

Capital Gallery, 600 Maryland Ave SW, Suite 3000
Washington D.C., DC
20024

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is located in the Capital Gallery Building, Suite 3000 located at 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20024. Capital Gallery is one block south of the National Mall on the corner of Maryland Avenue and 7th Street, Southwest. There is an entrance to L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station just outside the building, and the Archives is on the third floor. Metro: The best way to get to the Archives is by taking Metrorail, Washington, DC’s subway system. Use L’Enfant Plaza station, on Metrorail's Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Green lines, and take the Maryland Avenue and 7th Street, SW exit. This will place you directly in front of the Capital Gallery Building. Simply take the elevator to the third floor to reach the Archives. For a Metrorail map and more information, visit the Metro Website www.wmata.com. Bus: Metrobus links Washington with nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia, and has stops near the Archives. The D.C. Circulator bus also offers a quick and convenient service to the Archives via the Circulator’s Convention Center - SW Waterfront line. More information is here: http://siarchives.si.edu/about/contact-us

General information

The Archives is open to all researchers (except children under twelve). Business hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except for Federal holidays. Prior to your visit, we ask that you review the Collections Access Policies (http://siarchives.si.edu/services/collections-access-policies) and contact us to ensure that pertinent records are available during your visit.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 633-5870

Alerts

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Comments

FYI: SUMMER 2021 Get Ready for a Mind-Expanding Adventure! “GOD TALKS TO ME: A Working Definition of God” This book answers Albert Einstein’s most profound question, ” I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details." Albert Einstein https://www.facebook.com/GodTalkstoMeBook
Hey Smithsonian Institution Archives, I wish you should upload "Conquest Of The Land" and "For Want Of Plankton The Mosasaur Was Lost" on YouTube.
Que voulez-vous dire ?tt.pe
President John F. Kennedy By Artist Chester Davis
Good morning, I am looking for pictures of the soldiers during the First and Second World War of Andernach during the occupation were made! Can you help me with this ?! Thanks Andreas Heissbach
A Civil War era letter that appears to describe the January 1865 Smithsonian fire is up for auction on eBay:
Secrets of Physical Radiesthesia /The Roman Rod/
Thought you guys might enjoy this rendition of America's oldest murder ballad, Omie Wise. Happy Halloween from Banjo Earth!
I should think that, with digital technology as good as it is and widely available and easy to use, the Smithsonian could digitally catalog everything in its vast warehouses and make it all available for free online viewing. If it's just a matter of photographing it all and scanning it, I'm sure you could find hundreds of people who would volunteer to do it--including me!
does your institute house british guiana artifacts?....if yes,can you educate me the reason for some british guiana passports having names of persons knighted by the queen of england?