Oral history interviews with Robert McCormick Adams
Adams, Robert McC. (Robert McCormick), 1926-2018, interviewee Search this
3 audiotapes (Reference copies).
The Oral History Program is part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The purpose of the program is to conduct interviews with current and retired members of the
Smithsonian staff who have made significant contributions, administrative and scholarly, to the Institution. The project's goal is to supplement the published record and manuscript
collections in the Archives, focusing on the history of the Institution and contributions to the increase and diffusion of knowledge made by its scholars.
The Robert McCormick Adams interviews were accessioned into the Oral History Collection because of his role as Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1984 to 1994.
The Robert McCormick Adams Interviews were conducted during three sessions in 1994 and 2012 by Smithsonian Institution Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. The first
two interviews discuss his education and research prior to his being named Secretary of the Smithsonian in 1984. The third interview discusses his tenure as Secretary of the
Smithsonian and his research at UCSD. The collection consists of approximately 4.25 hours of audio recordings, 75 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.25 cubic feet of shelf
space. There are three generations of each recording, 5 original reel-to-reel audiotapes and one digital .wav file, 3 CDs with digital .wav files of all the interviews, 5
audiotape reference cassettes and six reference .mp3 files. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews and cassette and digital copies of the original recordings, which
are in security storage.
Additional documentation pertaining to Adams can be found in the Records of the Office of the Secretary, and the Robert McCormick Adams Papers in the Smithsonian Archives.
Robert McCormick Adams (1926-2018),archaeologist and anthropologist, served as the ninth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1984 to 1994. Adams received
the bachelors of philosophy from University of Chicago in 1947, the masters in 1952 and the Ph.D. in 1956. Adams' research focused on field studies in the history of irrigation
and urban settlement, primarily in the Middle East, but also Mesoamerica. He served on the faculty of the University of Chicago and Oriental Institute from 1955 to 1984, serving
as director of the Oriental Institute from 1962 to 1968, and as Provost of the University from 1982 to 1984.
At the Smithsonian, Adams initiated new programs to ensure cultural diversity, establishing a Cultural Education Committee in 1986. He oversaw acquisition of the National
Museum of the American Indian and development of the National Postal Museum from the National Philatelic Collection. Adams oversaw construction of the Quadrangle, a complex
housing the National Museum of African Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the International Center. He also sought to reinvigorate research at the Institution, as well
as incorporate new technologies into education, research, and museum programs. The National Science Resources Center was created to improve the teaching of pre-college science
Adams faced several challenges head-on, raising awareness of the deteriorating infrastructure of the Smithsonian and initiating a renovation program for its historic structures.
When the "culture wars" erupted at the Smithsonian in the 1990s, with criticisms of exhibits including The West as America, an exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art
Museum; Science in American Life, at the National Museum of American History, and a script developed at the National Air and Space Museum for an exhibit on the Enola
Gay, Adams oversaw a thoughtful national discussion of the issues.
Upon his retirement from the Smithsonian in 1994, Adams was appointed an adjunct professor at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) where he continued anthropological
research and publication. Over the course of his career Adams explored the importance of social interaction and cultural ecology in the evolution of civilizations and how
cultural ecology helps explain the rise of civilizations and how cultures affect each other.
The recordings and transcripts of the Robert McCormick Adams Interviews cannot be used without his permission during his lifetime.
Urbanized landscapes in early Syro-Mesopotamia and prehispanic Mesoamerica : papers of a cross-cultural seminar held in honor of Robert McCormick Adams / edited by Davide Domenici and Nicolò Marchetti
Papers of a cross-cultural seminar held in honor of Robert McCormick Adams
Adams@50 (Conference) (2015 : Bologna, Italy)) author Search this
Domenici, Davide http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no2002001361 http://viaf.org/viaf/20000053 Search this
Marchetti, Nicolò 1968- http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/nb2006005057 http://viaf.org/viaf/263499579 Search this
Adams, Robert McC (Robert McCormick)) 1926-2018 http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n80060315 http://viaf.org/viaf/108452288 Search this
Adams, Robert McC (Robert McCormick) 1926-2018 http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n80060315 http://viaf.org/viaf/108452288 Search this
Restricted for 20 years, beginning from the execution year of the Agreement of Transfer (1999), until Jan-01-2020; Transferring office; 2/1/1999 Agreement of Transfer; Contact reference staff for details