The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives'
record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program
staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also reminiscences and
interviews recorded by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
American University history student Caitlin Miller conducted oral history interviews of Smithsonian Gardens staff to document the history of the Smithsonian's horticultural
program, for an oral history seminar taught by Smithsonian Archives historian Pamela M. Henson.
The History of Smithsonian Gardens Oral History Interviews consist of approximately 6 hours of digital audio interviews, in 3 digital .wav audio files, and 108 pages
of transcript. Each interview recording has three generations: an original digital audio file in .wav format, an preservation digital audio file in .wav format, and a reference
digital audio file in .mp3 format. The original digital audio files are preserved in security storage with .mp3 files available for reference. The Monday interview has not
Paul H. Lindell, Barbara Faust, and John Monday were interviewed about their pioneering careers at the Smithsonian and the development of the horticultural program
at the Institution.
The Smithsonian Office of Horticulture was established in 1972 by Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley who initially hired James Buckler as the director. Renamed Smithsonian
Gardens in 2010, the program has grown rapidly and is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of interior plantscapes; the propagation and culture of rare
and unusual plant collections for research and exhibition purposes; production and culture of annuals, biennials, perennials, tropical plants, and other specialized seasonal
crops for use in the exterior landscapes, interior plantscapes, for special events and special exhibitions; the application of pesticides; coordination of design, fabrication,
installation and maintenance of all winter seasonal designs for the Smithsonian Institution; receipt and maintenance of nursery specimens for future landscape utilization;
365 day cultural care and maintenance of the greenhouse nursery facility and plant material; the procurement of plants, supplies and equipment; educational outreach; and the
coordination of all organizational activities with other Smithsonian offices and museum staff for scheduling and planning purposes.
Paul H. Lindell (1943- ) grew up in rural Delaware and attended Brown Vocational Technical High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where he received a technical high school
degree, with an emphasis on architectural drafting. He then worked for the Artesian Water Company before he was in the United States Marine Corps for three years as a radio
operator. He then attended the College of Agriculture of the University of Delaware and worked at Edward H. Richardson Associates, Inc., Consulting Engineers and Architects,
and Tetra Tech Consulting Engineers and Architects. He began his career at the Smithsonian in 1986 as a consultant for the Enid A. Haupt Garden and joined the Office of Horticulture
staff in 1987. He served as a landscape architect for Smithsonian Gardens until his retirement in 2011.
Barbara Faust (1955- ), Associate Director of Smithsonian Gardens since 2004, joined Smithsonian staff in 1986 as manager of the Greenhouse Nursery Branch, Horticulture
Services Division. She grew up in rural Nelson County, Virginia, and received the B.S. in horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1977. Throughout
her career she has been active in the horticultural community.
Jack Monday (1929- ) was born on a farm outside Rockville, Maryland. He was mentored by Gerry Fisher while working as a gardener for the Washington, D.C., government beginning
in 1949. He became the head gardener for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in 1965 and moved to the Smithsonian's Office of Horticulture in 1974 upon director Jim Bucklers
request to help with preparations for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. He served as Assistant Director of the Office of Horticulture from 1974 to 1986, retiring
during the planning phase for the Enid A. Haupt Garden in 1986.
The Lindell interview session is restricted and permission must be secured from the interviewee to use the interview transcript or cite/quote from the recording.