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The next meeting of the Investment Policy Committee will be held in the fall. Regent William G. Bowen has generously agreed to serve as Acting Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee until such time as a permanent Chairman can be appointed to replace former Regent Barnabas McHenry. The following motion is recommended to the Board:

VOTED that the Board of Regents approves the appointment of Regent William G. Bowen as the Acting Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee.


In discussion, the Regents were assured that the Huntington Free Library's request for reimbursement of $24 million for the care of the library of the Museum of the American Indian had also been denied when Justice Stecher required the Library to transfer the Museum's library to the Smithsonian.

Huntington Free Library Proceeding

On June 27, 1991, the New York State Supreme Court, Justice Stecher, issued an opinion requiring the Huntington Free Library to transfer the Museum of the American Indian Library to the Smithsonian. This opinion arose out of an action brought in January 1990 by the Heye Foundation, in which it petitioned the New York State Supreme Court to declare a constructive trust on the Museum of the American Indian library materials (40,000 volumes) and thereby require that they be transferred to the Smithsonian along with the remainder of the Museum of the American Indian collections. The Huntington Free Library ("HFL") opposed the petition, asserting unconditional ownership of the books and trust funds. Alternatively, the HFL requested that if transfer of the materials were ordered, it should be reimbursed $24 million for providing care and custody for the past 30 years. 

Justice Stecher held that the trust document by which the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the American Indian transferred the library materials in 1930 to the HFL created an express trust, the primary purpose of which was to benefit the Museum, its staff, and those interested in the study of anthropology of Native Americans, by making the library materials readily available to them. With the HFL located in the Bronx and the Heye collections now part of the Smithsonian, the Court determined that the Museum of the American Indian book collection would be remote from the Museum of the American Indian collection. In conclusion, therefore, the Court held that retention of the books by the HFL would "defeat or impair" the purposes of the trust, while transfer to the Smithsonian would "substantially strengthen" its purposes. In addition, the Court held that the library endowment fund shall remain with the Huntington Free Library; however, it must continue to be used for the purpose of supplementing the Museum of the American Indian library collections.

The Heye Foundation and the Huntington Free Library have submitted proposed orders to Justice Stecher, which are likely to be the subject of a 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact