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Greene Smith Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Smith, Greene, 1841-1880.
Title: Greene Smith Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1860-1907
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Son of New York reformer, philanthropist and abolitionist Gerrit Smith, much involved in ornithology. Collection contains correspondence, financial material, ornithological material, miscellany.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Greene Smith (1841-1880) was a son of New York reformer, philanthropist and abolitionist Gerrit Smith. An avid amateur scientist, Smith was very interested in ornithology and taxidermy. In 1863 he built a three-story museum to house his collection of bird specimens, many of which eventually went to Cornell (where Smith lectured as professor of ornithology), Harvard, or Colgate University.

A genealogy of the Smith family is available here (if online) or at the end of this finding aid (if in hard copy).

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Greene Smith Papers contains correspondence, financial material, ornithological material and miscellany.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Financial material is subdivided by type and within that arranged chronologically. The remaining series are arranged alphabetically by topic or type.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of several members of the Smith family. See also the following:

Gerrit Smith Papers
Peter Smith Papers
Gerrit Smith Miller Papers

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Subject Headings


Miller, Elizabeth Smith, 1822-1911.
Miller, Gerrit Smith, 1845-1937.
Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874.
Smith, Greene, 1841-1880.
Smith, Peter, 1768-1837.


Birds -- Taxidermy.
Ornithologists -- United States.
Ornithology -- Research.
Ornithology -- Study and teaching.

Genres and Forms

Catalogs (documents)
Receipts (financial records)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Greene Smith Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: Jun 1993
Revision history: 27 Jan 2016 - corrected dates (MRC)

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Box 1 General 1860-1878 (28 folders)
Box 2 General 1879-1892 (9 folders)
Box 2 General undated
Box 2 Smith, Gerrit (father) 1851-1853, 1872-1873
Box 2 Other family relatives
Box 2 Miller, Elizabeth Smith 1874-1877
Box 2 Miller, Gerrit Smith 1875-1878 (4 folders)
Box 2 Smith, Ann C. (mother) 1868, 1873
Box 2 Smith, Bessie (wife)
Box 3 Smith, Bessie (wife) 1873-1907 (10 folders)
Financial material
Box 3 Bank deposit acknowledgements, Henry Clews and Co., New York 1871-1873
Box 3 Bank statements, Henry Clews and Co., New York 1871-1873
Box 3 Accounts and miscellaneous financial documents 1873-1878
Box 3 Bills and receipts 1860, 1863, 1868-1872 (Jun) (6 folders)
Box 4 Bills and receipts 1872 (Jul)-1903 (18 folders)
Box 4 Bills and receipts undated
Box 5 Drafts 1868-1879 (16 folders)
Box 5 Promissory notes 1871-1872
Ornithological material
Box 5 Bird dealers' itemized bills 1869-1879, undated (2 folders)
Box 5 Bird dealers' catalogs undated
Box 5 Catalog of birds, eggs and nests, Greene Smith Museum, Peterboro, New York 11 Jul 1880
Box 5 Egg and nest description forms of G. H. Ragsdale 1878
Box 5 List of eggs arrived from John Krider undated
Box 5 Notes by Greene Smith on orders placed with bird dealers
Box 5 Diary fragments 4-14 Mar 1887 [?]
Box 5 Comments by Greene Smith on O. B. Frothingham's biography of Gerrit Smith 2 Jan 1878
Box 5 Estate of Green Smith - envelope that once contained his will, dated in his hand June 24, 1880; letters testamentary naming Elizabeth F. Smith and Gerrit Smith as executors
Box 5 Genealogical record, possibly of the FitzHugh family, 18th c.
Box 5 Hunting permit issued to Greene Smith, France 24 Oct 1861
Box 5 Legal material 1875-1881
Box 5 Notes 1872, undated - includes undated note in Gerrit Smith's handwriting
Box 5 Passport of Greene Smith, signed by Charles Francis Adams 1861

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