Alaska, 1911 : with Arthur Cleveland Bent to gather data on the economic status and geographic distribution of birds and mammals; Included is correspondence, an expense book, maps, reports on the investigations, and photographs
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Search this
Box 18, Volume 31
Scope and Contents note:
January 1899 - December 1902 Pages 1-508.
No restrictions on access
Samuel P. Langley Collection, NASM.XXXX.0494, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
United States National Museum. Administrative Assistant Search this
14.26 cu. ft. (3 document boxes) (22 tall document boxes)
Records consist of outgoing letterpress book correspondence concerning general fiscal matters, estimates of appropriations, appropriation and expenditure statements;
certified vouchers for the disbursement clerk; and personnel matters including leaves of absence, appointments, promotions, terminations, and salaries; also included are fiscal
records pertaining to USNM exhibits at international expositions. Originally these records had been kept in three separate series, (1) general museum business; (2) personnel;
and (3) copied letters addressed to the Secretary transmitting vouchers for payment. These series were combined at an unknown date and volumes pertaining to exposition financial
matters were added. Most of the correspondence was signed by Cox, and William De C. Ravenel. Other correspondents include Secretaries Samuel P. Langley, and Charles D. Walcott;
executive curator, Frederick William True; and acting chief clerks, J. E. Rockwell, and J. L. Willige. Volumes are individually indexed. A Volume list follows.
The chief clerk's appointment was an administrative one. Under his charge was the general supervision of the expenditure of United States National Museum appropriations;
preparing proposals for supplies, issuing orders for the purchasing of supplies; settlement of accounts; awarding contracts; supervision over nonscientific or specimen related
correspondence; general supervision of employees, their assignments to duty, granting leaves of absence; and conducting boards of inquiry and investigation of complaints.
The chief clerk also acted as special agent and at times was appointed representative of the Museum and the Smithsonian at international expositions.
William V. Cox, designated chief clerk of the Museum in 1885, was the first and last chief clerk of the Museum. When Cox left the Museum in 1902 the title of the position
was changed to administrative assistant. Duties of the administrative assistant were somewhat modified but the differences between these duties and those of the chief clerk
were never enumerated in the Museum reports.
This collection consists of forms and circulars of the Secretary, 1846-1888; forms and circulars of the National Museum, Exchanges, Ethnology, Correspondence Clerk,
Disbursing Clerk, International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, Library, and National Zoological Park; forms ordered, 1860-1933; lists of Smithsonian employees, 1846-1910,
with salaries; and invitations to Smithsonian events, circa 1915-1925.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 65, Smithsonian Institution, Chief Clerk, Forms, Circulars, Announcements
Smithsonian Institution, Disbursement Clerk Search this
1.6 linear meters.
These records include copies of disbursement vouchers, statements, abstracts of disbursements, monthly disbursement statements, cash vouchers, and summary balance and
debit statements; also correspondence regarding the history of the disbursement clerk position. Disbursement of funds included both the private and federal side of the Smithsonian,
in particular, the operations of the USNM, National Zoological Park, and International Exchange Service. Form vouchers are also signed by Secretaries Spencer F. Baird and
Samuel P. Langley. Most volumes are individually indexed. A volume list follows.
Records of the disbursement clerk consist entirely of outgoing letterpress financial statements, most of which were signed by William W. Karr. Karr was appointed to
the position of "factotum" in 1879. His assignment included time-keeping, keeping accounts of expenditures and making out bills for payment for the contractors during the
construction of the Arts and Industries Building. As a result of his efficiency, Karr was appointed to the USNM force as a clerk, November 1880, although he was also called
bookkeeper, assistant, and cashier. In 1884 he became the accountant for the Smithsonian. Karr became disbursement clerk in 1888, and from 1888 to 1905 he held the joint position
of accountant and disbursement clerk with his salary coming from both Smithsonian private funds and museum federal funds. In 1905 Karr was discharged from his duties on charges
Prior to 1873, all accounts for the National Museum were paid by the Smithsonian and audited by the Executive Committee. From 1873 until 1888, bills for the USNM were approved
by the Secretary and disbursed by the disbursing agent at the Department of Interior. In a similar fashion beginning in 1874, the Secretary of the Treasury disbursed Smithsonian
funds and made payment on checks signed by the Secretary. In 1888 funds for the Museum and International Exchange Service as well as those from the Treasury Department were
turned over to the disbursement clerk for the Smithsonian. Funds appropriated for North American Ethnology were transferred to the Smithsonian disbursement clerk in 1892.