This accession consists of agreements and memoranda of understanding between the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and other organizations. These agreements
encompass cooperation in research, collecting, staffing, funding, and training. Materials also include correspondence.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2019; Transferring office; 1/15/2014 memorandum, Yowell to File; Contact reference staff for details.
These records document special programs and projects undertaken in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Included are files on the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems
Program, Scholarly Studies Program, Short-Term Visitors Program, a 1987 NMNH expedition to Henderson Island in the South Pacific, the 1987 NMNH Task Force on Research, the
NMNH Calendar, and the NMNH Diving Board. Also included are files concerning the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, a program administered by the Assistant
Secretary for Research. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, proposals, reports, budgets, and fiscal materials.
The Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit (IDO) opened in German-occupied Krakow, Poland, in 1940. The Sektion für Rasse- und Volkstumforschung (IDO-SRV) (Section for Racial
and National Traditions Research) was an anthropological unit of the IDO that classified people by studying their anthropometric and genealogical information. The collection
was seized by the United States and British armies after the end of World War II and given to the Smithsonian Institution on permanent loan once they were deemed of no further
value for military intelligence.
In 2003, the Polish government requested this collection be transferred back to Poland. These records document the task force that was created by Cristián Samper, Director
of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), at the request of the Secretary of the Smithsonian to investigate the legal, scientific, ethical, and archival issues related
to the return of these records. In 2004, the task force recommended the records be returned after microfilm copies and digital surrogates had been made. In a ceremony at the
Polish Consulate in New York on September 27, 2007, the IDO records were transferred from the National Anthropological Archives to Uniwersytet Jagielloński (Jagiellonian University),
Krakow. (See also related records in Accession 05-091.)
These records were compiled and maintained by Ruth Osterweis Selig, Special Assistant to the Director, NMNH. Materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, notes, clippings,
brochures, and reports. Some materials are in electronic format.
This accession consists of the records of the Director, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), mostly from the tenures of Richard S. Cowan and Porter M. Kier. Materials
include reading files, 1970-1974; files relating to the NMNH budget, circa 1957-1974; and miscellaneous records.
This accession consists of records documenting the administration and research activities of the Neotropical Lowland Research Program compiled by Richard P. Vari, Principal
Investigator. Materials include reports, budget requests, correspondence, and memoranda.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2020; Transferring office; 6/23/2008 memorandum, Yowell to Vari; Contact reference staff for details.
These records are chiefly files of the Director's Office, 1964-1969, 1971-1972. During the earlier period a complicated subject-numeric system was in use. In 1971 a
simpler subject-numeric plan was used and replaced before the end of that year by a straight alphabetic subject file, which is the current office filing system. A full history
of the Director's Office and of its filing systems can be found in Record Unit 155.
These records are the administrative files of the Office of the Director, National Museum of Natural History. Most of the records date from the late-to-mid 1950s. Those
records created prior to 1959 are the records of the Director of the United States National Museum, although they are records relating primarily to that segment of the U.
S. National Museum that became the Museum of Natural History in 1957.
Related records are to be found in Record Units 88 and 89.
The United States National Museum had its origins in a scientific organization founded in Washington in 1841 under the name of the National Institute. Although the
National Institute was a private organization it was chosen by the federal government as the custodian of minerals received from the James Smithson estate in 1838 and of the
collections amassed by the United States Exploring Expedition between 1838 and 1842. The collections were housed in the Patent Office, and funds for their care were provided
by the government. In 1858, these collections were transferred to the Smithsonian and were added to specimens already in the possession of the Institution, and federal funds
were appropriated for their care.
It is difficult to say with certainty when the U. S. National Museum was officially established but by 1858 a National Museum was reality. The term National Museum was
commonly used by the 1860s.
Spencer F. Baird came to the Smithsonian in 1850 as Assistant Secretary in charge of publications and museum. He was in effect, the first director of the U. S. National
Museum. In 1875, George Brown Goode was appointed Assistant Curator of the National Museum. By 1878, when Baird became Secretary, Goode was named Curator of the Museum and
was virtually in charge of its operation. In 1880 his title was changed to Assistant Director of the U. S. National Museum (the Secretary was officially the Director) and
in 1886 to Assistant Secretary in charge of the U. S. National Museum. Goode died in 1896, and his position was filled on an interim basis by Charles D. Walcott until Richard
Rathbun was appointed to the position in 1898. After Rathbun's death in 1918, William de C. Ravenel assumed the administrative duties as Administrative Assistant to the Secretary
in charge of the U. S. National Museum.
In 1925, Alexander Wetmore was appointed Assistant Secretary, with general supervision over the U. S. National Museum (USNM), the National Gallery of Art, and the National
Zoological Park. Ravenel remained Administrative Assistant to the Secretary as well as Director of the Department of Arts and Industries. As a result of Wetmore's appointment,
Ravenel was able to devote more time to the Department of Arts and Industries, the forerunner of the present National Museum of History and Technology.
In 1945, Wetmore became Secretary while retaining his duties as Director of the U. S. National Museum.
In 1948, Arthur Remington Kellogg was appointed Director. In 1955 Frank A. Taylor, formerly Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries became Assistant
Director of USNM. In 1957, the U. S. National Museum created two administrative subdivisions: the Museum of Natural History (Arthur Remington Kellogg, Acting Director) and
the Museum of History and Technology (Frank A. Taylor, Director). In 1958, Albert C. Smith was appointed Director of the Museum of Natural History. In 1962, Kellogg retired
and was replaced as Director of USNM by Frank A. Taylor. In the same year, Thomas Dale Stewart replaced Smith as Director of the Museum of Natural History. Richard Sumner
Cowan replaced Stewart in 1966, and Cowan was in turn, replaced by Porter M. Kier in 1973.
By 1967 the U. S. National Museum as an administrative entity was eliminated, with the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of History and Technology existing as separate
administrative units. In 1969, the names of the museums were changed to the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of History and Technology respectively.
The Director of the National Museum of Natural History reports administratively to the Assistant Secretary for Science. Prior to 1966 he reported to the Director of the
U. S. National Museum who was responsible to the Secretary.
20.5 cu. ft. (20 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
This accession documents the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) building West Court renovation and Discovery Center project. The Discovery Center, funded by
the Discovery Channel, features an IMAX theater with a six-story-high screen for 2-D and 3-D movies, a six-story Atrium Cafe with a food court, and expanded museum shops.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, proposals, architectural drawings and specifications, and related materials.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2020; Transferring office; Contact reference staff for details.
2.96 cu. ft. (4 document boxes) (1 tall document box) (1 film box)
This accession contains audiovisual materials from "Supertour," part of the Smithsonian Video Collection series. Hosted by Dudley Moore, the production tours 14 Smithsonian
museums with commentary by museum directors and curators regarding their collections. "Supertour" was produced by Andrew B. Ferguson and runs approximately 60 minutes. Materials
include Betacam SP, VHS, D1 videotapes, and one 1/4 inch sound recording tape.
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing/listening copies are not currently available. Viewing/listening copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
These records chiefly document the role of NMNH in the organization and programs of the Association of Systematics Collections (ASC) during the tenures of the Directors
Richard Sumner Cowan, 1969-1973; Porter M. Kier, 1973-1979; and Richard S. Fiske, 1980-1982. The ASC was established on July 7, 1972 to foster the care, management, preservation,
and improvement of systematics collections and to facilitate their utilization in science and society.
The records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, meeting materials, constitution and by-laws, and publications. They concern the initial discussions for a national
program for systematics; the organization and incorporation of ASC; meetings and symposia of ASC; and Kier's service as ASC Vice-President. Also included are a few files documenting
NMNH relations with the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
These records are the official administrative files of the Office of the Director of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), 1973-1975. Porter M. Kier was appointed
to that position on January 14, 1973. For an administrative history of the Office of the Director, see Record Unit 155.
79.5 cu. ft. (78 record storage boxes) (3 document boxes)
These records primarily document the administration of the NMNH during the tenures of Kier, Fiske, and Hoffman. A small amount of files were created by Talbot, and
Acting Directors James F. Mello, 1979, and James C. Tyler, 1985 and 1988. The records document the research, exhibition, and educational missions of the NMNH. They also document
relations between the NMNH and Smithsonian bureaus and offices, educational organizations, and the museum community. Of special interest are files documenting the planning,
construction, and opening of the Museum Support Center; the opening and exhibition program of the Thomas M. Evans Special Exhibition Gallery; and the development of NMNH programs
including the Molecular Systematics Laboratory and the Biological Diversity Program. Also included are fiscal and budgetary records, and files documenting special events at
Porter M. Kier served as Director of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) from 1973 to 1979. Richard S. Fiske was appointed to the position in January 1980
and served until July 1985. Robert S. Hoffman was named Director in October 1985 and remained in the position until January 1988. Frank H. Talbot was appointed Director in
National Museum of Natural History. Office of the Director Search this
14 cu. ft. (14 record storage boxes)
Digital versatile discs
This accession consists of materials documenting the administration and programs of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) by the Office of the Director, primarily
during the tenures of Robert S. Hoffman, 1985-1988; Frank Talbot, 1988-1994; Donald J. Ortner, Acting Director, 1994-1996; David L. Pawson, Acting Director, 1996; Robert W.
Fri, 1996-2001; J. Dennis O'Connor, Acting Director, 2001-2002; Cristian Samper, 2002-2007 and 2008-2012; Paul G. Risser, Acting Director, 2007-2008; and Kirk R. Johnson,
2012- . Included are records concerning NMNH departments, divisions, offices, and programs; fundraising efforts; and agreements without outside organizations. Materials include
correspondence, memoranda of understanding, reports, newsletters, brochures, clippings, floor plans, maps, photographs, negatives, slides, audiocassettes, a pin, and a flag.
Some materials are in electronic format.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2035; Transferring office; 1/15/2014 memorandum, Yowell to File; Contact reference staff for details.
These records document the administration and programs of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), primarily under Directors Robert S. Hoffman, 1985-1988; and
Frank Talbot, 1988-1992. Included are records concerning NMNH departments, divisions, offices, and programs; NMNH relations with Smithsonian administration, bureaus, and offices;
NMNH exhibitions; and the research of NMNH scientific staff.
This accession consists of videotapes used in the production of "Supertour," part of the Smithsonian Video Collection. Hosted by Dudley Moore, the production tours
14 Smithsonian museums with commentary by museum directors and curators regarding their collections. "Supertour" was produced by Andrew B. Ferguson and runs approximately
60 minutes. Materials include original camera footage, stills, window dubs, component edited master, edited master, and a reference copy, on an assortment of videotape formats
including Betacam, Betacam SP, 3/4" U-matic, and VHS.
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing copies are not currently available. Viewing copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
5 cu. ft. (4 record storage boxes) (2 document boxes)
This accession consists of correspondence, contracts, purchase orders, program information, and other related materials documenting the work of the Biodiversity Programs
office. Directors represented in these records include James F. Mello, Acting Director, 1979; Richard S. Fiske, Director, 1980-1985; James C. Tyler, Acting Director, 1985,
1988; Robert S. Hoffmann, Director, 1985-1988; and Frank Talbot, Director, 1988-1994.