The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

 Smithsonian Institution
(1846-    )

Thanks to a bequest of 104,960 gold sovereigns from James Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." Today it is a complex of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and a zoo located mostly in the District of Columbia among which is the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, home to the nation's mineral collection of 375,000 specimens.

Opened in 1910, the Natural History Museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities. The National Gem and Mineral Collection is among the most significant collections of its kind in the world, and the most visited museum in the country. It contains some of the world's most famous gems and minerals including the Hope Diamond, the (uncut) Oppenheimer Diamond, the Roebling Apatite, the Gachala Emerald, and the "Steamboat" Tourmaline.

Major donors to the Smithsonian mineral collection included Washington A. Roebling (1837-1926), who gave 16,000 mineral specimens to the collection; and Frederick A. Canfield (1849-1926), who donated 9,000 mineral specimens. Under curator Paul E. Desautels (1920-1991), the collection was expanded significantly thanks gifts and to funds derived from customs seizures.

There are currently approximately 2,500 mineral specimens on exhibit in the recently remodeled Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. Specimens not on public display are held in two areas: The Blue Room, where the higher-value display-quality specimens are kept, and the mineral reference collection, arranged in massive banks of drawers.
To contribute more information please E-mail us at: minrecord@comcast.net

[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 7 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 7

The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 46 x 74 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 45 x 92 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 46 x 74 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 51 x 82 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 53 x 86 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 53 x 86 mm
The Mineralogical Record -  Smithsonian Institution 50 x 76 mm
Contents copyright © 2017 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by ASPConnections.net