An archivist is an information professional who assesses, organizes, maintains control over, provides access to records and archives determined to have long-term value. The records maintained by an archivist can consist of a variety of forms, including letters, logs, other personal documents, government documents, sound and/or picture recordings, digital files, or other physical objects; as Richard Pearce-Moses wrote: "Archivists keep records that have enduring value as reliable memories of the past, they help people find and understand the information they need in those records."Determining what records have enduring value can be challenging. Archivists must select records valuable enough to justify the costs of storage and preservation, plus the labor-intensive expenses of arrangement and reference service; the theory and scholarly work underpinning archives practices is called archival science. The most common related occupations are librarians, museum curators, records managers; the archivist occupation is distinct from that of librarian.
The two occupations have separate courses of training, adhere to separate and distinct principles, are represented by separate professional organizations. In general, the librarian tends to deal with published media, whereas the archivist deals with unpublished media. In addition, because archival records are unique, some archivists may be as much concerned with the preservation and custody of the information carrier as with its informational content. In this regard, some would argue the archivist may have more in common with the museum curator than with the librarian; the occupation of archivist is frequently distinguished from that of records manager, although in this case the distinction is less absolute: the archivist is predominantly concerned with records deemed worthy of permanent preservation, whereas the records manager is more concerned with records of current administrative importance. Because of this, the position duties for each occupation can intertwine if both occupations are present at an institution.
Archivists' duties include acquiring and appraising new collections and describing records, providing reference service, preserving materials. In arranging records, archivists apply two important principles: original order. Provenance refers to the creation of records and keeping different records separate in order to maintain context. Many entities create records, including governments, businesses and individuals. Original order is applied by keeping records in their order as established and maintained by the creator. Both provenance and original order are related to the concept of respect des fonds, which states that records from one corporate body should not be mixed with records from another. There are two aspects to arrangement: physical. Both aspects follow the principle of original order. Archivists process the records physically by placing them in acid-free folders and boxes to ensure their long-term survival, they process the records intellectually, by determining what the records consist of, how they are organized, what, if any, finding aids need to be created.
Finding aids can be descriptive inventories, or indexes. If the original arrangement is unclear or unhelpful in terms of accessing the collection, it is rearranged to something that makes more sense; this is because preserving the original order shows how the creator of the records functioned, why the records were created, how they went about arranging them. Moreover, the provenance and authenticity of the records may be lost. However, original order is not always the best way to maintain some collections and archivists must use their own experience and current best practices to determine the correct way to preserve collections of mixed media or those lacking a clear original arrangement. Archivists' work encompasses a range of ethical decisions that may be thought of as falling into three broad and intertwined areas: legal requirements. In negotiating the ethical conflicts that arise in their work, archivists are guided by codes of ethics; the Society of American Archivists first adopted a code of ethics in 1980.
Alongside their work in arranging and caring for collections, archivists assist users in interpreting materials and answering inquiries. This reference work can be a small part of an archivist's job in a smaller organization, or consist of most of their occupation in a larger archive where specific roles may be delineated. Archivists work for a variety of organizations, including government agencies, local authorities, hospitals, historical societies, charities, corporations and universities, national parks and historic sites, any institution whose records may be valuable to researchers, genealogists, or others, they can work on the collections of a large family or of an individual. Archivists are educators as well. Archivi
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
Painting is the practice of applying paint, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives and airbrushes, can be used; the final work is called a painting. Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, composition, narration, or abstraction. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational, abstract, symbolistic, emotive, or political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by religious art. Examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery, to Biblical scenes Sistine Chapel ceiling, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of Eastern religious origin. In art, the term painting describes the result of the action; the support for paintings includes such surfaces as walls, canvas, glass, pottery, leaf and concrete, the painting may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, paper, gold leaf, as well as objects.
Color, made up of hue and value, dispersed over a surface is the essence of painting, just as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music. Color is subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West; some painters, theoreticians and scientists, including Goethe and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a color equivalent; the word "red", for example, can cover a wide range of variations from the pure red of the visible spectrum of light. There is not a formalized register of different colors in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as F or C♯. For a painter, color is not divided into basic and derived colors. Painters deal with pigments, so "blue" for a painter can be any of the blues: phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, Cobalt blue, so on. Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not speaking, means of painting.
Colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, because of this, the perception of a painting is subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music is analogous to "light" in painting, "shades" to dynamics, "coloration" is to painting as the specific timbre of musical instruments is to music; these elements do not form a melody of themselves. Modern artists have extended the practice of painting to include, as one example, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense; some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, many others; these images can be printed onto traditional canvas. Jean Metzinger's mosaic-like Divisionist technique had its parallel in literature. I make a kind of chromatic versification and for syllables I use strokes which, variable in quantity, cannot differ in dimension without modifying the rhythm of a pictorial phraseology destined to translate the diverse emotions aroused by nature.
Rhythm, for artists such as Piet Mondrian, is important in painting as it is in music. If one defines rhythm as "a pause incorporated into a sequence" there can be rhythm in paintings; these pauses allow creative force to intervene and add new creations—form, coloration. The distribution of form, or any kind of information is of crucial importance in the given work of art, it directly affects the aesthetic value of that work; this is because the aesthetic value is functionality dependent, i.e. the freedom of perception is perceived as beauty. Free flow of energy, in art as well as in other forms of "techne", directly contributes to the aesthetic value. Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul. Wassily Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. Kandinsky theorized that "music is the ultimate teacher," and subsequently embarked upon the first seven of his ten Compositions.
Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that, yellow is the color of middle C on a brassy trumpet. In 1871 the young Kandinsky learned to play the cello. Kandinsky's stage design for a performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" illustrates his "synaesthetic" concept of a universal correspondence of forms and musical sounds. Music d
Nickel (United States coin)
A nickel, in American usage, is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866, its diameter is.835 inches and its thickness is.077 inches. Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2015, over 1.5 billion nickels were produced at the Denver mints. The silver half dime, equal to five cents, had been issued since the 1790s; the American Civil War caused economic hardship, driving silver from circulation. In 1865, Congress abolished the five-cent fractional currency note after Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau, placed his own portrait on the denomination. After the successful introduction of two-cent and three-cent pieces without precious metal, Congress authorized a five-cent piece consisting of base metal; the initial design of the Shield nickel was struck from 1866 until 1883 was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel.
The Buffalo nickel was introduced in 1913 as part of a drive to increase the beauty of American coinage. In 2004 and 2005, special designs in honor of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were issued. In 2006, the Mint reverted to using Jefferson nickel designer Felix Schlag's original reverse, although a new obverse, by Jamie Franki, was substituted; as of the end of FY 2013, it cost more than nine cents to produce a nickel. The silver half disme was one of the denominations prescribed by the Mint Act of 1792; the first pieces under federal authority were half dimes, struck in 1792 in the cellar of John Harper, a saw maker. The dies were engraved by Adam Eckfeldt, who a half-century recalled that the silver for the half dimes was supplied by President George Washington, that the 1,500 coins struck from the bullion were given to Washington's Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, for distribution to important people, both in the US and overseas. By legend, President Washington supplied silverware from his home, Mount Vernon, to provide bullion for the coins.
In his annual message to Congress in late 1792, Washington noted the ongoing construction of a mint building and stated: "There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them."In 1793, the newly established Philadelphia Mint began striking cents and half cents. Coinage of precious metal was delayed. In 1794, Congress lowered the chief coiner's bond to $5,000, the assayer's to $1,000. Subsequently, silver coinage began that year; the half dime was struck from 1794 until 1805, though none were dated 1798, 1799, or 1804. By 1804, silver US coins were exported, as they could be exchanged at par in the West Indies with heavier Spanish coins, which were imported as bullion and deposited at the Mint for melting and restriking. In response, in 1804 the US stopped striking silver dollars. In 1807, mint Director Robert Patterson in a letter explained to Jefferson "nearly the whole of our Silver Bullion come through the Banks, it is seldom that they will consent to take any coin less than half dollars."Beginning in 1829, the silver five-cent piece was again struck.
In 1837, the half dime's obverse design changed from one by William Kneass, depicting a bust of Liberty, to one that featured a seated Liberty by Christian Gobrecht. In 1851, it ceased to be the smallest US silver coin; the Civil War caused most American coins to vanish from circulation, with the gap filled by such means as merchant tokens, encased postage stamps, United States fractional currency, issued in denominations as low as three cents. Although specie was hoarded or exported, the copper-nickel cent the only base metal denomination being struck vanished. In 1864, Congress began the process of restoring coins to circulation by abolishing the three-cent note and authorizing bronze cents and two-cent pieces, with low intrinsic values, to be struck; these new coins proved popular, though the two-cent piece soon faded from circulation. On March 3, 1865, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Mint to strike three-cent pieces of 75% copper and 25% nickel. In 1864, Congress authorized a third series of fractional currency notes.
The five-cent note was to bear a depiction of "Clark", but Congress was appalled when the issue came out not with a portrait of William Clark, the explorer, but Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau. According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, Congress's "immediate infuriated response was to pass a law retiring the five-cent denomination, another to forbid portrayal of any living person on federal coins or currency." Clark kep
United States National Library of Medicine
The United States National Library of Medicine, operated by the United States federal government, is the world's largest medical library. Located in Bethesda, the NLM is an institute within the National Institutes of Health, its collections include more than seven million books, technical reports, microfilms and images on medicine and related sciences, including some of the world's oldest and rarest works. The current director of the NLM is Patricia Flatley Brennan. Since 1879, the National Library of Medicine has published the Index Medicus, a monthly guide to articles, in nearly five thousand selected journals; the last issue of Index Medicus was printed in December 2004, but this information is offered in the accessible PubMed, among the more than fifteen million MEDLINE journal article references and abstracts going back to the 1960s and 1.5 million references going back to the 1950s. The National Library of Medicine runs the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which houses biological databases that are accessible on the Internet through the Entrez search engine and Lister Hill National Center For Biomedical Communications.
As the United States National Release Center for SNOMED CT, NLM provides SNOMED CT data and resources to licensees of the NLM UMLS Metathesaurus. NLM maintains ClinicalTrials.gov registry for human observational studies. The Toxicology and Environmental Health Program was established at the National Library of Medicine in 1967 and is charged with developing computer databases compiled from the medical literature and from the files of governmental and nongovernmental organizations; the program has implemented several information systems for chemical emergency response and public education, such as the Toxicology Data Network, TOXMAP, Tox Town, Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders and the Household Products Database. These resources are accessible without charge on the internet; the United States National Library of Medicine Radiation Emergency Management System provides: Guidance for health care providers physicians, about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injury during radiological and nuclear emergencies Just-in-time, evidence-based, usable information with sufficient background and context to make complex issues understandable to those without formal radiation medicine expertise Web-based information that may be downloaded in advance, so that it would be available during an emergency if the Internet were not accessibleRadiation Emergency Management System is produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Planning and Emergency Operations, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services, with subject matter experts from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many U.
S. and international consultants. The Extramural Division provides grants to support research in medical information science and to support planning and development of computer and communications systems in medical institutions. Research and exhibitions on the history of medicine and the life sciences are supported by the History of Medicine Division. In April 2008 the current exhibition Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health was launched. National Center for Biotechnology Information is an intramural division within National Library of Medicine that creates public databases in molecular biology, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing molecular and genomic data, disseminates biomedical information, all for the better understanding of processes affecting human health and disease. For details of the pre-1956 history of the Library, see Library of the Surgeon General's Office; the precursor of the National Library of Medicine, established in 1836, was the Library of the Surgeon General's Office, a part of the office of the Surgeon General of the United States Army.
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and its Medical Museum were founded in 1862 as the Army Medical Museum. Throughout their history the Library of the Surgeon General's Office and the Army Medical Museum shared quarters. From 1866 to 1887, they were housed in Ford's Theatre after production there was stopped, following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. In 1956, the library collection was transferred from the control of the U. S. Department of Defense to the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Welfare and renamed the National Library of Medicine, through the instrumentality of Frank Bradway Rogers, the director from 1956 to 1963; the library moved to its current quarters in Bethesda, Maryland, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, in 1962. JournalReview.org National Library of Medicine classification system PubMed Miles, Wyndham D.. A History of the National Library of Medicine: The Nation's Treasury of Medical Knowledge. U. S. Government Printing Office.
P. 531. ISBN 978-0-16-002644-7. NLM 8218545. Reznick, Jeffrey. US National Library of Medicine. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4671-2608-3. LCCN 2017931439. NLM 101706419. Schullian, Dorothy. "The National Library of Medicine. I"; the Library Quarterly: Information, Policy. 28: 1–17. Doi:10.1086/618482. JSTOR 4304714. NLM 0135203. Schullian, Dorothy. "The National Library of Medicine. II"; the Library Quarterly: Information, Policy. 28: 95–121. Doi:10.1086/618521. JSTOR 4304753. NLM 0135203. Past and future of biomedical informat
The Smithsonian Institution, founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after British scientist James Smithson. Organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed "the nation's attic" for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items, the Institution's nineteen museums, nine research centers, zoo include historical and architectural landmarks located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas and Panama. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates; the Institution's thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution's endowment and corporate contributions, membership dues, earned retail and licensing revenue.
Institution publications include Air & Space magazines. The British scientist James Smithson left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford; when Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836; the American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns. Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson's rather vague mandate "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas, which soon defaulted.
After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. On August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian. Though the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, it became the depository for various Washington and U. S. government collections. The United States Exploring Expedition by the U. S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842; the voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean.
These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts and natural history specimens. In 1846, the regents developed a plan for weather observation; the Institution became a magnet for young scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. The Smithsonian played a critical role as the U. S. partner institution in early bilateral scientific exchanges with the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. Construction began on the Smithsonian Institution Building in 1849. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr. its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The building opened in 1855; the Smithsonian's first expansion came with construction of the Arts and Industries Building in 1881. Congress had promised to build a new structure for the museum if the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition generated enough income.
It did, the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, it opened in 1881. The National Zoological Park opened in 1889 to accommodate the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals; the park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, housed in the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building; this structure was designed by the D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall. When Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it, it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual; the gallery opened in 1923. More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology, opened in 1964.
It was designed by the world-renowned firm of Mead & White. The Anacostia Community Museum, an "experimental store-front" museum created at the initiative of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, opened in the Anacostia neighborhood of