Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The Henry P. Whitehead collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into twenty-six (26) series and consists of approximately 400 cubic feet. The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
The collection is divided into twenty-seven series.
Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994
Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986
Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987
Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911
Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985
Series 6: Cyrus W. Field Papers, 1840-1892
Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987
Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995
Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968
Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945
Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979
Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970
Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s
Series 14: Westar VI-S, 1974, 1983-1986
Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970
Series 16: Plant Department Records, 1867-1937, 1963
Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948
Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985
Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980
Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971
Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964
Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s
Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980
Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956
Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942
Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994
Series 27: Addenda
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.
The telegraph was further refined by Morse, Vail, and a colleague, Leonard Gale, into working mechanical form in 1837. In this year Morse filed a caveat for it at the U.S. Patent Office. Electricity, provided by Joseph Henry's 1836 "intensity batteries", was sent over a wire. The flow of electricity through the wire was interrupted for shorter or longer periods by holding down the key of the device. The resulting dots or dashes were recorded on a printer or could be interpreted orally. In 1838 Morse perfected his sending and receiving code and organized a corporation, making Vail and Gale his partners.
In 1843 Morse received funds from Congress to set-up a demonstration line between Washington and Baltimore. Unfortunately, Morse was not an astute businessman and had no practical plan for constructing a line. After an unsuccessful attempt at laying underground cables with Ezra Cornell, the inventor of a trench digger, Morse switched to the erection of telegraph poles and was more successful. On May 24, 1844, Morse, in the U.S. Supreme Court Chambers in Washington, sent by telegraph the oft-quoted message to his colleague Vail in Baltimore, "What hath God wrought!"
In 1845 Morse hired Andrew Jackson's former postmaster general, Amos Kendall, as his agent in locating potential buyers of the telegraph. Kendall realized the value of the device, and had little trouble convincing others of its potential for profit. By the spring he had attracted a small group of investors. They subscribed $15,000 and formed the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Many new telegraph companies were formed as Morse sold licenses wherever he could.
The first commercial telegraph line was completed between Washington, D.C., and New York City in the spring of 1846 by the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Shortly thereafter, F. O. J. Smith, one of the patent owners, built a line between New York City and Boston. Most of these early companies were licensed by owners of Samuel Morse patents. The Morse messages were sent and received in a code of dots and dashes.
At this time other telegraph systems based on rival technologies were being built. Some companies used the printing telegraph, a device invented by a Vermonter, Royal E. House, whose messages were printed on paper or tape in Roman letters. In 1848 a Scotch scientist, Alexander Bain, received his patents on a telegraph. These were but two of many competing and incompatible technologies that had developed. The result was confusion, inefficiency, and a rash of suits and counter suits.
By 1851 there were over fifty separate telegraph companies operating in the United States. This corporate cornucopia developed because the owners of the telegraph patents had been unsuccessful in convincing the United States and other governments of the invention's potential usefulness. In the private sector, the owners had difficulty convincing capitalists of the commercial value of the invention. This led to the owners' willingness to sell licenses to many purchasers who organized separate companies and then built independent telegraph lines in various sections of the country.
Hiram Sibley moved to Rochester, New York, in 1838 to pursue banking and real estate. Later he was elected sheriff of Monroe County. In Rochester he was introduced to Judge Samuel L. Selden who held the House Telegraph patent rights. In 1849 Selden and Sibley organized the New York State Printing Telegraph Company, but they found it hard to compete with the existing New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company.
After this experience Selden suggested that instead of creating a new line, the two should try to acquire all the companies west of Buffalo and unite them into a single unified system. Selden secured an agency for the extension throughout the United States of the House system. In an effort to expand this line west, Judge Selden called on friends and the people in Rochester. This led, in April 1851, to the organization of a company and the filing in Albany of the Articles of Association for the "New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" (NYMVPTC), a company which later evolved into the Western Union Telegraph Company.
In 1854 there were two rival systems of the NYMVPTC in the West. These two systems consisted of thirteen separate companies. All the companies were using Morse patents in the five states north of the Ohio River. This created a struggle between three separate entities, leading to an unreliable and inefficient telegraph service. The owners of these rival companies eventually decided to invest their money elsewhere and arrangements were made for the NYMVPTC to purchase their interests.
Hiram Sibley recapitalized the company in 1854 under the same name and began a program of construction and acquisition. The most important takeover was carried out by Sibley when he negotiated the purchase of the Morse patent rights for the Midwest for $50,000 from Jeptha H. Wade and John J. Speed, without the knowledge of Ezra Cornell, their partner in the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company (EMTC). With this acquisition Sibley proceeded to switch to the superior Morse system. He also hired Wade, a very capable manager, who became his protege and later his successor. After a bitter struggle Morse and Wade obtained the EMTC from Cornell in 1855, thus assuring dominance by the NYMVPTC in the Midwest. In 1856 the company name was changed to the "Western Union Telegraph Company," indicating the union of the Western lines into one compact system. In December, 1857, the Company paid stockholders their first dividend.
Between 1857 and 1861 similar consolidations of telegraph companies took place in other areas of the country so that most of the telegraph interests of the United States had merged into six systems. These were the American Telegraph Company (covering the Atlantic and some Gulf states), The Western Union Telegraph Company (covering states North of the Ohio River and parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota), the New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company (covering New York State), the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company (covering Pennsylvania), the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company (covering sections of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois), and the New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company (covering the southern Mississippi Valley and the Southwest). All these companies worked together in a mutually friendly alliance, and other small companies cooperated with the six systems, particularly some on the West Coast.
By the time of the Civil War, there was a strong commercial incentive to construct a telegraph line across the western plains to link the two coasts of America. Many companies, however, believed the line would be impossible to build and maintain.
In 1860 Congress passed, and President James Buchanan signed, the Pacific Telegraph Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to seek bids for a project to construct a transcontinental line. When two bidders dropped out, Hiram Sibley, representing Western Union, was the only bidder left. By default Sibley won the contract. The Pacific Telegraph Company was organized for the purpose of building the eastern section of the line. Sibley sent Wade to California, where he consolidated the small local companies into the California State Telegraph Company. This entity then organized the Overland Telegraph Company, which handled construction eastward from Carson City, Nevada, joining the existing California lines, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Sibley's Pacific Telegraph Company built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Sibley put most of his resources into the venture. The line was completed in October, 1861. Both companies were soon merged into Western Union. This accomplishment made Hiram Sibley leader of the telegraph industry.
Further consolidations took place over the next several years. Many companies merged into the American Telegraph Company. With the expiration of the Morse patents, several organizations were combined in 1864 under the name of "The U.S. Telegraph Company." In 1866 the final consolidation took place, with Western Union exchanging stock for the stock of the other two organizations. The general office of Western Union moved at this time from Rochester to 145 Broadway, New York City. In 1875 the main office moved to 195 Broadway, where it remained until 1930 when it relocated to 60 Hudson Street.
In 1873 Western Union purchased a majority of shares in the International Ocean Telegraph Company. This was an important move because it marked Western Union's entry into the foreign telegraph market. Having previously worked with foreign companies, Western Union now began competing for overseas business.
In the late 1870s Western Union, led by William H. Vanderbilt, attempted to wrest control of the major telephone patents, and the new telephone industry, away from the Bell Telephone Company. But due to new Bell leadership and a subsequent hostile takeover attempt of Western Union by Jay Gould, Western Union discontinued its fight and Bell Telephone prevailed.
Despite these corporate calisthenics, Western Union remained in the public eye. The sight of a uniformed Western Union messenger boy was familiar in small towns and big cities all over the country for many years. Some of Western Union's top officials in fact began their careers as messenger boys.
Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the telegraph became one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life of America. In spite of improvements to the telegraph, however, two new inventions--the telephone (nineteenth century) and the radio (twentieth century)--eventually replaced the telegraph as the leaders of the communication revolution for most Americans.
At the turn of the century, Bell abandoned its struggles to maintain a monopoly through patent suits, and entered into direct competition with the many independent telephone companies. Around this time, the company adopted its new name, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).
In 1908 AT&T gained control of Western Union. This proved beneficial to Western Union, because the companies were able to share lines when needed, and it became possible to order telegrams by telephone. However, it was only possible to order Western Union telegrams, and this hurt the business of Western Union's main competitor, the Postal Telegraph Company. In 1913, however, as part of a move to prevent the government from invoking antitrust laws, AT&T completely separated itself from Western Union.
Western Union continued to prosper and it received commendations from the U.S. armed forces for service during both world wars. In 1945 Western Union finally merged with its longtime rival, the Postal Telegraph Company. As part of that merger, Western Union agreed to separate domestic and foreign business. In 1963 Western Union International Incorporated, a private company completely separate from the Western Union Telegraph Company, was formed and an agreement with the Postal Telegraph Company was completed. In 1994, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. was acquired by First Financial Management Corporation. In 1995, First Financial Management Corporation merged with First Data Corporation making Western Union a First Data subsidiary.
Many technological advancements followed the telegraph's development. The following are among the more important:
The first advancement of the telegraph occurred around 1850 when operators realized that the clicks of the recording instrument portrayed a sound pattern, understandable by the operators as dots and dashes. This allowed the operator to hear the message by ear and simultaneously write it down. This ability transformed the telegraph into a versatile and speedy system.
Duplex Telegraphy, 1871-72, was invented by the president of the Franklin Telegraph Company. Unable to sell his invention to his own company, he found a willing buyer in Western Union. Utilizing this invention, two messages were sent over the wire simultaneously, one in each direction.
As business blossomed and demand surged, new devices appeared. Thomas Edison's Quadruplex allowed four messages to be sent over the same wire simultaneously, two in one direction and two in the other.
An English automatic signaling arrangement, Wheatstone's Automatic Telegraph, 1883, allowed larger numbers of words to be transmitted over a wire at once. It could only be used advantageously, however, on circuits where there was a heavy volume of business.
Buckingham's Machine Telegraph was an improvement on the House system. It printed received messages in plain Roman letters quickly and legibly on a message blank, ready for delivery.
Vibroplex, c. 1890, a semi-automatic key sometimes called a "bug key," made the dots automatically. This relieved the operator of much physical strain.
Materials in the Archives Center
Additional moving image about Western Union Telegraph Company can be found in the Industry on Parade Collection (AC0507). This includes Cable to Cuba! by Bell Laboratory, AT & T, featuring the cable ship, the C.S. Lord Kelvin, and Communications Centennial! by the Western Union Company.
Materials at Other Organizations
Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.
Western Union International Records form part of the MCI International, Inc. Records at the First Data Corporation, Greenwood Village, Colorado.
Records of First Data Corporation and its predecessors, including Western Union, First Financial Management Corporation (Atlanta) and First Data Resources (Omaha). Western Union collection supports research of telegraphy and related technologies, and includes company records, annual reports, photographs, print and broadcast advertising, telegraph equipment, and messenger uniforms.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867
This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Collection is open for research but Series 11 and films are stored off-site. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audiovisual materials. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the planning, production, and execution of the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Materials may include photographs, audio recordings, motion picture film and video recordings, notes, production drawings, contracts, memoranda, correspondence, informational materials, publications, and ephemera. Such materials were created during the Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as well as in the featured communities, before or after the Festival itself.
Arranged in 5 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Celebrating New Hampshire's Stories
Series 3: Gateways to Romania
Series 4: South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation
Series 5: Special Events
The Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998.
The 1999 Festival of American Folklife was produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies and cosponsored by the National Park Service.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
As of January 1999, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies was renamed the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The 1999 Festival hosted programs on New Hampshire, Romania, and South Africa. A central theme was the ability of diverse people from three continents, living with incredible societal changes, to use their own deeply held cultural traditions as a means of crafting their own identities, their own stories, their and our very future.
Celebrating New Hampshire's Stories pointed to the many ways people from that fiercely democratic state define their lives. The state's natural bounty is continually expressed in the arts and enjoyed with the help of varied crafts and skills that serve a vibrant recreational and tourism industry. Economic life illustrates ingenuity and a historic continuity with traditional manufacture, both in large corporate workplaces and smaller, high-tech, precision manufacturing shops. Community life reflects a strong investment in the historic preservation of the built environment and participation in institutions such as town meetings, contra dances, and soirées that bring people together just when other forces in society tend to keep them apart. And the life of our nation itself is dramatically shaped by the most contemporary of conversations that traditionally occur in New Hampshire cafes and living rooms during presidential primary campaigns. These stories were recounted to Festival visitors by the participants from New Hampshire.
Gateways to Romania was an apt title for what was, in effect, an opening at the Festival of relationships between the American and Romanian people. The Festival program, and the process of achieving it, represented an important collaboration between Romania and the United States. Following decades of political repression, Romanians at the end of the 20th century were seeking the means of realizing a democratic and humane society. The cultural correlates of such a society are freedom of cultural expression, and the ability to practice and preserve one's traditions as well as create new cultural syntheses. Romania had long been a cultural crossroads with Latinate, Orthodox, Balkan, Germanic, Hungarian, Roma, Turkish, and Jewish influences in music, song, dance, craftsmanship, sacred and culinary arts. The Festival provided both a showcase and a means for culture-rich Romania to use its treasures, for the benefit of its own citizens and to inform Americans about its people and heritage.
South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation revealed the attempts of thousands of community-based craftspeople to enhance their economic development and civic participation through their artistry. Crafts in South Africa are as diverse as the Rainbow Nation itself, drawing upon the generations-old traditions of indigenous people and those of Asian and European immigrant communities, from functional crafts of everyday use to the arts of survival that developed in townships. For many, crafts have a civic as well as an economic role, expressing the identity of a community while at the same time earning income for a family's livelihood. The Festival was part of an ongoing attempt to build upon the knowledge and skills of local-level artists in order to help build a new nation based upon human and cultural rights and economic opportunity.
The 1999 Festival coincided with the Smithsonian-UNESCO conference, A Global Assessment of the 1989 UNESCO Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore: Local Empowerment and International Cooperation. At that important meeting, participants called for the creation of an international legal instrument to reinforce the protection of intangible cultural heritage, what later became the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The 1999 Festival took place during two five-day weeks (June 23-27 and June 30-July 4) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 9th Street and 13th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan). It featured three programs, with special events that included the Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert.
The 1999 Program Book included schedules and participant lists for each program; essays provided background on the Festival and on each of the programs.
The Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service and organized by the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Richard Kurin, Director; Richard Kennedy, Deputy Director; Diana Parker, Festival Director; Anthony Seeger, Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordngs; James Early, Director, Cultural Heritage Policy; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist; Olivia Cadaval, Chair, Research & Education; D.A. Sonneborn, Assistant Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings; Betty J. Belanus, Marjorie Hunt, Diana Baird N'Diaye, Peter Seitel, Curators, Folklorists, Education and Cultural Specialists; Carla M. Borden, Program/Publications Manager; John W. Franklin, Program Manager; Cynthia Vidaurri, Coordinator, Latino Cultural Resource Network; Jeffrey Place, Archivist; Stephanie Smith, Assistant Archivist; Arlene L. Reiniger, Program Specialist; Charlie Weber, Media Specialist; Stanford Carpenter, Roland Freeman, Dan Goodwin, Nancy Groce, Yanique Hume, Ivan Karp, Alan Lomax, Worth Long, René López, Kate Rinzler, Lynnell Thomas, Nilda Villalta, Fellows & Research Associates
Folklife Advisory Council and Folkways Advisory Council
Michael Asch, Phyllis Barney, Jane Beck, Don DeVito, Pat Jasper, Ella Jenkins, Jon Kertzer, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, John Nixdorf, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Gilbert Sprauve, Jack Tchen, Ricardo Trimillos
National Park Service
Robert Stantion, Director; Terry Carlstrom, Director, National Capital Region
Shared Stewardship of Collections:
The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acknowledges and respects the right of artists, performers, Folklife Festival participants, community-based scholars, and knowledge-keepers to collaboratively steward representations of themselves and their intangible cultural heritage in media produced, curated, and distributed by the Center. Making this collection accessible to the public is an ongoing process grounded in the Center's commitment to connecting living people and cultures to the materials this collection represents. To view the Center's full shared stewardship policy, which defines our protocols for addressing collections-related inquiries and concerns, please visit https://folklife.si.edu/archives#shared-stewardship.
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival forms part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival records .
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: Papers
1967 Festival of American Folklife records - [Ongoing]
Related Archival Materials note:
Within the Rinzler Archives, related materials may be found in various collections such as the Ralph Rinzler papers and recordings, the Lily Spandorf drawings, the Diana Davies photographs, the Robert Yellin photographs, and the Curatorial Research, Programs, and Projects collection. Additional relevant materials may also be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives concerning the Division of Performing Arts (1966-1983), Folklife Program (1977-1980), Office of Folklife Programs (1980-1991), Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies (1991-1999), Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present), and collaborating Smithsonian units, as well as in the administrative papers of key figures such as the Secretary and respective deputies. Users are encouraged to consult relevant finding aids and to contact Archives staff for further information.
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Proceedings of the Symposium on the Oceanography and Fisheries Resources of the Tropical Atlantic, Abidjan, Ivroy Coast, 20-28 October 1966 : review papers and contributions : results of the ICITA and of the GTS / organized through the joint efforts of UNESCO, FAO and OAU = Actes du Sumposium sur l'océanographique et les ressources halieutiques de l'Atlantique tropical, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, 2...
Actes du Symposium sur l'oceanographique et les ressources halieutiques de l'Atlantique tropical
Oceanography and fisheries resources of the tropical Atlantic
Proceedings of the Abidjan symposium
Symposium on the Oceanography and Fisheries Resources of the Tropical Atlantic (1966 : Abidjan, Ivory Coast) Search this
International Cooperative Investigations of the Tropical Atlantic Search this
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Processing of the collection was funded by the Getty Grant Program; digitization of the collection was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers, 1906-2016, bulk 1920-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by Stephen Diamond, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Meggers, Betty J., Evans, Clifford and Estrada, Emilio. 1965. Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador: The Valdivia and Machalilla Phases. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp., 234 pp. doi:10.5479/si.00810223.1.1
This collection is comprised of the professional papers of Joel M. Halpern and, to a lesser extent, the papers of Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern. Both their collaborations and individual work are represented here. Materials include their correspondence, published and unpublished writings, research materials, photographs, grant applications, consultant work, teaching files, their files as students, and writings by colleagues.
The bulk of the research files pertain to Halpern's Orašac demography project. Also present are notes and photographs from his field research in the Balkans during the 1950s and 1960s. The collection also reflects his research interests in the Inuit of Alaska and Canada. There is little original material, however, documenting his fieldwork in Laos. Additional materials of interest in the collection include a transcript of an interview Halpern conducted with Conrad Arensberg as well as his notes and syllabi from courses taught by a number of prominent anthropologists, such as Conrad Arensberg, Morton Fried, Alfred Kroeber, and Margaret Mead. The collection also contains a set of prints of Shinnecock Indians that Halpern obtained from Red Thunder Cloud.
Among Kerewsky-Halpern's files are notes from her research on South Slav immigrants in Ontario, her research on oral tradition among peasant communities in Southeastern Europe, as well as her involvement in multiple sclerosis organizations and the Feldenkrais Method.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
This collection is organized into 10 series: 1) Correspondence, 1950s-2003; 2) Research, 1953-1996; 3) Writings, 1948-2007; 4) Professional Activities, 1951-1990s; 5) Student Files, 1946-1955, 1968-1979; 6) Teaching Files, 1947-1992; 7) Personal and Biographical Files, 1948-2002; 8) Writings by Others, 1950s-1990s; 9) Photographs, 1942, 1953-1970, 1978, 1997, undated; 10) University of Massachusetts, 1968-1992
Biographical Note: Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern:
Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern was born on December 23, 1931 in Mt. Vernon, New York. Her mother, Rose S. Kerewsky, had worked with physical anthropologist Stanley Garn and coauthored a number of papers on dentition. Kerewsky-Halpern attended Barnard College, where she received a B.A. in Geology and Geography in 1953. She later obtained her M.A. in Linguistics (1974) and Ph.D. in Anthropology (1979) at University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Kerewsky-Halpern married Joel M. Halpern in 1952. In the following year she accompanied him to the field in Orašac, Serbia and assisted him in his research. She was also the illustrator and cartographer for Halpern's monograph A Serbian Village. Over the span of her career, she frequently collaborated with her husband on research projects and coauthored a number of articles. Like her husband, her research focused on peasant communities, specifically on oral traditions and the ethnography of communication. In 1974, she also studied South Slav communities in Ontario.
When she was 44, Kerewsky-Halpern became incapacitated due to multiple sclerosis. Through self-rehabilitation, she was able to regain full motion, but the experience continued to influence her life. Her research interests expanded to include medical anthropology, cross-cultural perspectives on disability, and the anthropology of movement. She also became active in multiple sclerosis associations and became a licensed instructor in the Feldenkrais Method in 1983.
Kerewsky-Halpern and Halpern divorced in 2010.
[Articles about Barbara K. Halpern], Series 9. Personal, Joel Martin Halpern and Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Barbara K. Halpern curriculum vitae, Series 9. Personal, Joel Martin Halpern and Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Clifford, Joyce and Jeremy Smith. 2010. Finding Aid to Joel Martin Halpern Papers, 1939-2009 (Bulk: 1948-2008). http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/ead/mufs001.pdf (accessed December 3, 2012).
Halpern, Joel. 2003. Interview with Joel Halpern [regarding fieldwork in Serbia] conducted by Mirjana Prošić-Dvornić. Emeritus Faculty Author Gallery. Paper 60. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1059&context=emeritus_sw (accessed December 3, 2012).
Halpern, Joel. August 2007. Curriculum Vitae. http://works.bepress.com/joel_halpern/cv.pdf (accessed July 6, 2012).
Biographical Note: Joel M. Halpern:
Joel Martin Halpern was born on April 8, 1929 in New York City. He attended University of Michigan, where he obtained his B.A. in History in 1950. He had initially intended to major in chemistry but realized that he wanted to pursue a more "adventurous" field that would allow him to travel. While an undergraduate student, he published articles based on his ethnographic, geological, and archaeological research in Alaska, Canada, and Swedish Lapland.
Halpern decided to continue his studies at Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1956. Conrad Arensberg was his faculty advisor, while Margaret Mead was on his doctoral committee. Halpern was greatly influenced by Philip E. Mosely, the first director of Columbia University's Institute for Russian Studies. Through Mosely, he met the prominent Serbian ethnologist Milenko Filipović, who also served as his mentor. It was due to Filipovíc that Halpern chose to focus his research on a Serbian village for his dissertation.
In 1953, Halpern and his former wife, Barbara Kerewskey-Halpern, conducted ethnographic field research in Orašac, a village in the Sumadija district of central Serbia, at the time part of former Yugoslavia. This research resulted in Halpern's dissertation, Social and Cultural Change in a Serbian Village, for which he was awarded the Ainsley Award from Columbia University. The dissertation was later edited and published as A Serbian Village (1958). Halpern and his wife would return to Orašac numerous times throughout their career. The documentary The Halperns in Orašac, which aired in Yugoslavia in 1986, focuses on the couple's research in Orašac from 1953 to 1986.
In addition to Serbia, Halpern conducted research in Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia. A prolific writer, he published and presented a number of papers on peasant communities, historical demography, kinship, and social change in the Balkans. He also co-edited Among the People: Native Yugoslav Ethnography, Selected Writings of Milenko S. Filipovic (1982) and authored and edited works on and by Jozef Obrebski, the pioneering ethnographer of the Balkans, whose papers Halpern helped deposit at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Halpern also published extensively on Laos. He was one of the first American anthropologists to conduct research in the Southeast Asian country. After receiving his doctorate, he had worked on Area Handbook for Laos (1958) as a Research Associate for the Human Relations Area Files office in Washington, DC (1956). When he accepted a position as a Junior Foreign Service Officer (Foreign Service Reserve) with the Community Development Division of the U.S. International Cooperation Administration, he was stationed in Laos in 1957-1958. In 1959 he returned to the country under the sponsorship of Rand Corporation to study the Lao elite. He returned once again in 1969 as chair of the Mekong Seminar of the Southeast Asia Development Advisor Group to study the socio-economic impact of hydro-electrical dams constructed on the Mekong River.
In his later years, Halpern conducted research on the Inuit in Arviat (formerly known as Eskimo Point) and Frobisher Bay in Canada and immigrant populations in the United States. He was particularly interested in Southeast Asian immigrant communities in New England. He co-edited with Lucy Nguyen Far East Comes Near, a compilation of autobiographical essays by his Southeast Asian refugee students at University of Massachusetts. He also studied Jewish ethnic communities in Western Massachusetts and the urban history of the Bronx.
Halpern taught at UCLA (1958-1963) and Brandeis (1963-1965) before joining the Anthropology faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst (1967-1996). He was also a visiting professor at Albert Ludwigs-Universitat and Arnold Bergstrasser Institute in Frieberg (1970-1971) and University of Graz (Spring 1993, Spring 1994). In addition, he was a National Academy of Sciences Senior Exchange Scientist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1975) and Serbian Academy of Sciences (1975, 1978).
1929 -- Born April 8, New York, New York
1950 -- Receives B.A. in History from University of Michigan
1952 -- Marries Barbara Kerewsky
1953-1954 -- Conducts fieldwork in Orašac, Serbia for first time
1956 -- Earns Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University
1957-1958 -- Stationed in Laos as a Junior Foreign Service Officer with the Community Development Division of the U.S. International Cooperation Administration
1958-1963 -- Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of California, Los Angeles
1959 -- Returns to Laos to conduct research on the Lao elite under sponsorship from Rand Corporation
1963-1965 -- Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University
1964 -- Director of Brandeis University Summer Field Program in Bosnia
1967 -- Joins Department of Anthropology faculty at University of Massachusetts, Amherst
1970-1971 -- Visiting Professor, Albert Ludwigs-Universitat and Arnold Bergstrasser Institute, Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
1976, 1979 -- Research on Jewish Ethnic Communities in Western Massachusetts
1996 -- Retires from University of Massachusetts
2010 -- Divorce from Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern finalized
The Smithsonian Institution holds additional materials relating to Joel M. Halpern and Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern. Their correspondence can be found in the Conrad M. Arensberg papers at the National Anthropological Archives. Halpern also donated films and video to the Human Studies Film Archives and a collection of Eskimo dolls (Accession # 409953) to the Anthropology Collections division.
The bulk of Joel M. Halpern's papers are at the Special Collections and University Archives of University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The following is a list of other repositories that hold his papers and photographs:
Joel Martin Halpern Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Joel Martin Halpern Papers, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Joel M. Halpern Papers, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University Library
Joel Martin Halpern Photograph Collection, Jones Library (Amherst, MA Public Library)
Joel Martin Halpern Southeast Europe Collection, University of Alberta Libraries
Joel Martin Halpern Balkan Archive, University of Bradford
Joel Halpern Collection, University of Graz
Joel M. Halpern Laotian Slide Collection, Department of Special Collections
, University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Halpern, Joel Papers, General/Multiethnic Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Joel Halpern in multiple installments from the 1980s to 2006.
All except Series 9. Photographs is stored off-site. Advance notice must be given to view off-site materials.
Access to materials containing social security numbers; Halpern's students' graded materials; and manuscripts and grant applications sent to Halpern for review is restricted. Additional materials have also been restricted at Halpern's request.
Please note that some of the materials in the collection are copies made by Joel M. Halpern; the originals are most likely deposited at other archives. For these materials, permission will need to be obtained from the repositories where the originals are held. See Related Collections for a list of repositories.
Creation of a world centre of communication / by Olivia Cushing Andersen and Hendrik Christian Andersen ; Legal argument from the polistive science of government by Umano ; The economic advantages by Jeremiah W. Jenks
New York Airways Collection, Acc. NASM.1992.0052, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.