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Records

Creator:
Potomac Valley Ornithological Club  Search this
Extent:
0.1 linear meter.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1892-1896
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
These records include minutes of the Club's meetings, which were informal gatherings. The minutes contain synopses of scientific papers presented as well as discussions of research being carried on by the members.
Historical Note:
The Potomac Valley Ornithological Club was founded in 1892 by several ornithologists resident in the Washington, D.C., area. The Club did not meet after 1896.
Topic:
Ornithology.  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7111, Potomac Valley Ornithological Club, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7111
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7111

Records

Creator:
Philosophical Society of Washington  Search this
Extent:
6.2 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
1871-1968, 1972 and undated
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women’s Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit includes correspondence (1871-1968), minutes (1871-1965), records of investments and other fiscal records (1871-1968), publications (1871-1962), newspaper clippings, and photographs. Documentation is full before 1950, with some significant gaps.

Most of the records deal with administration of the Society: nomination and election of officers, adoption of and changes in the constitution and by-laws, plans for weekly meetings, and special lectures before the Society. The fiscal records are of particular interest for study of the financing of learned societies in America. Included is information regarding Charles G. Abbot, Spencer F. Baird, Leonard Carmichael, George Gamow, Charles B. Goode, Joseph Henry, Samuel P. Langley, Gen. A. J. Myer, Simon Newcomb, and Harold C. Urey.
Historical Note:
The Philosophical Society of Washington (PSW) was organized on March 13, 1871, by forty-seven men who wished to establish, in the District of Columbia, a society dedicated solely to the advancement of science. It was subsequently incorporated in 1915. The Society's stated goals are the promotion of science, the advancement of learning, and the free exchange of views among its members on scientific subjects. It has pursued these goals through regular and special lectures on scientific topics and through the publication of the Washington Philosophical Society Bulletin.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7079, Philosophical Society of Washington, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7079
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7079

Benjamin Dann Walsh Field Notebooks

Creator:
Walsh, Benjamin Dann, 1808-1869  Search this
Extent:
2 volumes.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1860-1869
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
This collection consists of two field notebooks recording Walsh's observations of insect behavior and development in the vicinity of his home, Rock Island, Illinois. They also contain some clues to Walsh's reading habits and correspondents, as well as sketches and clippings from newspapers. The notebooks contain meticulous detail and show an evident interest in questions of economic entomology. The last pages of volume two contain an account of the founding of the Rock Island County branch of the Kansas Settlers Society of Chicago, June 12-25, 1856; Walsh was an officer and member of the Executive Committee of this body.
Historical Note:
Benjamin Dann Walsh (1808-1869) was born in Great Britain and educated at Oxford. Prepared for the Church, he instead became a writer and, after emigrating to the United States, a farmer, lumber dealer, and entomologist. Walsh became state entomologist of Illinois in 1867 and, with Charles Valentine Riley, founded the American Entomologist in 1868, a year before his death.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7123, Walsh, Benjamin Dann, 1808-1869, Benjamin Dann Walsh Field Notebooks
Identifier:
Record Unit 7123
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Benjamin Dann Walsh Field Notebooks
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7123

Charles K. Wead Papers

Creator:
Wead, Charles K, 1848-1925  Search this
Extent:
1 folder.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
circa 1893-1913
Descriptive Entry:
These papers consist of Wead correspondence concerning personal matters and Philosophical Society of Washington affairs, particularly the memorial meeting for Simon Newcomb in 1909. Also included are two letters from Simon Newcomb to John A. Kasson, one concerning a committee of Congress to investigate the possibility of establishing the metric system in the United States.
Historical Note:
Charles K. Wead (1848-1925) was an examiner for the United States Patent Office from 1892 to 1921. He also served as an officer of the Philosophical Society of Washington and filled the unexpired term of Simon Newcomb as President of that organization in 1909, after Newcomb's death.
Topic:
History of science and technology  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7159, Wead, Charles K, 1848-1925, Charles K. Wead Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7159
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Charles K. Wead Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7159

Records

Creator:
Vivarium Society  Search this
Extent:
0.1 linear meter.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
1925-1930
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit consists of the Constitution of the Vivarium Society; minutes of meetings; correspondence; newspaper clippings; membership lists; and photographs.
Historical Note:
The Vivarium Society was founded in 1925 by a group of Washington area naturalists who were "actively interested in the study of natural history in the field, and in the maintenance of Vivaria for scientific observations on living specimens." Activities centered around field trips and monthly meetings at which members or guests reported on their recent research.
Topic:
Herpetology  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7163, Vivarium Society, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7163
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7163

Records

Creator:
Potomac-side Naturalists' Club  Search this
Extent:
1 folder.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
circa 1858-1866
Descriptive Entry:
These records include membership lists, rules and regulations, and a committee report on the revision of the Club constitution.
Historical Note:
The Potomac-Side Naturalists' Club was founded by a group of Washington, D.C., area naturalists in 1858 to provide an informal organization for persons interested in natural history. The Club had no full set of officers, no regular meeting place, and no museum. Activities of the Club included meetings at members' homes, reading of papers, discussion of scientific matters, and occasional excursions. The Club disbanded in 1866 and was revived in 1873, only to be replaced by other Washington area scientific societies in the 1880s.
Topic:
Natural history  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7210, Potomac-side Naturalists' Club, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7210
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7210

"Toward Our Third Century" Bicentennial Awards Program, Prize Winning Entries

Extent:
1 microfilm reel.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1975-1976
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit consists of one reel of microfilm containing the prize winning entries.
Historical Note:
In 1975-1976 Wells Fargo Bank, in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, sponsored a bicentennial awards program. Contestants were to submit essays of no more than 3,500 words, or film or tape recordings not more than fifteen minutes in length on the theme "Toward Our Third Century."

Entrants were asked to look at the future of the United States and to suggest ideas for evaluating or coping with changes that will affect the nation in the years ahead. They were asked to address America's third century in terms of one of five themes: Individual Freedoms in Our Society; American Arts and Culture; Science, Technology, Energy, and the Environment; Family Life, Work and Leisure; and The United States and the World. Over 7,000 entries were received.

Initial judging of the entries was done by Smithsonian staff members, and final judging was done by a panel of nine distinguished Americans.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7227, , "Toward Our Third Century" Bicentennial Awards Program, Prize Winning Entries
Identifier:
Record Unit 7227
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"Toward Our Third Century" Bicentennial Awards Program, Prize Winning Entries
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7227

Philadelphia Museum Company

Creator:
Philadelphia Museum Company  Search this
Extent:
0.1 linear meter.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1792, 1808-1842 and undated
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit contains minutes of meetings of Peale's Society of Inspectors for the period March-July 1792, and a second minute book has a good run of entries from June 1827, just after the elder Peale's death, to the end of 1840. The remainder of this surviving remnant of records of the Philadelphia Museum Company is less than three dozen items of correspondence and oddments related to the Philadelphia Museum and the Philadelphia Museum Company. Items are scattered through the period 1808-1842. Correspondents include Charles Willson Peale, Rubens Peale, Rembrandt Peale, and Titian Ramsay Peale.
Historical Note:
The Philadelphia Museum Company had its genesis in the collections of Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), which he placed on view in his Philadelphia home as early as 1786. In 1792, seeking to turn his enterprise into a national museum, Peale formed a Society of Inspectors, including Thomas Jefferson and Edmund Randolph, in an unsuccessful effort to attract private and government support. In 1794, he obtained a ten-year lease to lodge his collections in the American Philosophical Society building on State House Square, and in 1802 the Pennsylvania legislature authorized the Museum to occupy quarters in the State House itself.

Peale's son, Rembrandt, attempted a museum in Baltimore that failed, and attempts by Rubens Peale and Linnaeus Peale to set up museums in New York also failed. The Philadelphia Museum was incorporated in 1821 as the Philadelphia Museum Company. Charles Willson Peale died in 1827, and his sons, chiefly Rubens and Franklin, continued the enterprise in the Philadelphia Arcade, where it remained until the construction of a new building in 1836. Caught in hard economic times and a growing schism between scientific natural history on the one hand and showmanship represented by P. T. Barnum on the other, the Museum went out of existence through sale of its collections in the 1850s.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7054, Philadelphia Museum Company, Philadelphia Museum Company
Identifier:
Record Unit 7054
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Philadelphia Museum Company
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7054

Records

Creator:
Systematic Biology Resource Management Project  Search this
Extent:
0.8 linear meter.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Audiotapes
Date:
1971-1973
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
These records consist of materials of the Systematic Biology Symposium and the Belmont Conference concerning their discussion of the work of the six committees. They include general correspondence and the correspondence of the six committees; financial records; travel vouchers; position papers of the six committees; drafts of a national plan for systematics resources; a pre-publication draft of "America's Systematic Collections: A National Plan"; transcripts and tapes of the Systematic Biology Symposium; and correspondence, constitution, and by-laws of the Association of Systematics Collections.
Historical Note:
In 1971, at the invitation of the Smithsonian, systematists and administrators representing seven scientific institutions, including the Smithsonian, convened to discuss a national program for systematics collections and their management. The participants recommended that further studies be undertaken and a report be presented to a national conference. Six committees were established and their findings presented to the Conference of Directors of Systematics Collections meeting at Gainesville, Florida, in April 1972. The meeting revised the reports and they were again reviewed in July 1972, at the Systematic Biology Symposium sponsored by the Smithsonian, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. The findings were then turned over to a committee of systematists and administrators, meeting at the Smithsonian's Belmont Conference Center, who were responsible for drafting a national plan for the coordination of national systematic resources. The Association of Systematics Collections, which replaced the Conference of Directors of Systematics Collections, received the draft and was charged with the responsibility to write, publish, and distribute the final report.
Topic:
Biology -- Classification  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7142, Systematic Biology Resource Management Project, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7142
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7142

Records

Creator:
Society of Systematic Zoology  Search this
Extent:
4.6 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1947-1975
Descriptive Entry:
These records include membership files, administrative files, reports, fiscal records, records related to the Journal of Systematic Zoology and copies of other SSZ publications, records related to the annual meetings, the Pacific Section of SSZ records, files on scientific societies, and the records of the Summer Institute in Systematics.
Historical Note:
The Society of Systematic Zoology (SSZ) was organized at the Chicago meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1947. Prior to the meeting, Waldo LaSalle Schmitt and George W. Wharton, Jr., had polled taxonomists about the founding of a systematics society; and the result was an organizational meeting on December 29, 1949. The first annual meeting of the SSZ was held in Washington in September 1948. Schmitt became its first president and Wharton its first secretary-treasurer. The government of the Society was vested in a council, with officers elected from nominees named by the Council. Original Council members were Orlando Park and Richard Eliot Blackwelder. A president ad president-elect were elected to one-year terms.

A News Letter for the SSZ was first published in 1949 under the direction of Hobart Muir Smith, chairman of the Publications Committee. In 1952 the Journal of Systematic Zoology was founded under the auspices of Richard Eliot Blackwelder. It gradually supplanted the News Letter which was discontinued in 1964. The quarterly Journal was considered the most important project of the SSZ; it was devoted to theoretical and philosophical considerations in systematics rather than the naming of new taxa.

Other projects of the Society have included the continuing publication of "List of Books on Zoology," and a Directory of Zoological Taxonomists.
Restrictions:
(1) The Smithsonian Archives has been designated as the official depository for the archives of the Society of Systematic Zoology; (2) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Biology -- Classification  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7226, Society of Systematic Zoology , Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7226
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7226

Records

Creator:
Washington Academy of Sciences  Search this
Extent:
5.7 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
circa 1888-1972
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women’s Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
The records of the Academy include proceedings of the Joint Commission, minutes of general Academy and Board of Managers meetings, correspondence, membership applications, scrapbooks, photographs, and publications.
Historical Note:
The Washington Academy of Sciences was incorporated on February 18, 1898. It serves as the federal head of thirty-five affiliated scientific societies in the Washington, D.C., area. Most of the affiliates are local chapters of national organizations; some, however, are independent of any national organization. Each affiliated society selects a delegate to represent that society on the Board of Managers, the governing body of the Academy.

During the 1880s scientists in the Washington area were establishing scientific societies that catered to their needs and interests. As the number of these societies increased, it became obvious that a federation was needed to unite their activities. A Joint Committee of Conference met in 1882 with the union in mind, but the idea was dismissed when the Philosophical Society rejected the plan.

Toward the close of the decade, the desire for a federation was renewed. Thus, in 1888, a Joint Commission was created that served only as an advisory body to the scientific societies; individual societies were not bound to the Commission's decisions. In 1895 the functions of the Joint Commission were enlarged, empowering it to conduct joint meetings, print a Joint Directory of the Scientific Societies of Washington, and act in the interest of all affiliated societies. Resolutions promoting common interests were accepted in 1898, followed by the act of incorporation and bylaws. The incorporators, 14 in number, were designated as the only original members; they adopted the bylaws and elected officers. The Joint Commission held its final meeting on March 22, 1898; the Board of Managers then became the governing body.

Eight scientific societies comprised the original organization of the Washington Academy of Sciences. They were the Anthropological Society of Washington, the Biological Society of Washington, the Chemical Society of Washington, the Entomological Society of Washington, the National Geographical Society, the Geological Society of Washington, the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, and the Philosophical Society of Washington.

The primary function of the Academy is the promotion of science. This is achieved in various activities and publications of the Academy. The Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, and its predecessor, the Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences, are designed to expose scientists, locally and nationally, to current research and studies in the form of scientific papers.

The functions of the Academy are extended to include high school students who manifest an interest and potential for the sciences. A Washington Junior Academy of Sciences exists for talented students. Scientific education is also promoted by the Joint Board on Science Education, which conducts science fairs in public and private schools, presents annual awards to promising high school students as well as to professional scientists for achievements in their research, and by sponsoring grants-in-aid for research.

The membership of the Academy is comprised of two classes--Members and Fellows. One can be accepted as a Member if he or she demonstrates an interest in the sciences and promotes the Academy's activities. A Fellow, on the other hand, must have conducted original research or have made an outstanding contribution to the scientific field.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7099, Washington Academy of Sciences, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 7099
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Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7099

John Warren Aldrich Interviews

Creator:
Aldrich, John W. (John Warren), 1906-1995 interviewee.  Search this
Extent:
4 audiotapes (reference copies). 7 digital .mp3 files (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1975, 1977
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Aldrich was interviewed for the Oral History Program because of his long professional association with the Division of Birds of the National Museum of Natural History.
Descriptive Entry:
Aldrich was interviewed on 19 September 1975 and 18 April 1977, by Pamela M. Henson. The interview covers his early interests in natural history; education; career in ornithology at the Buffalo Museum of Science, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Museum of Natural History; research interests; and professional activities.
Historical Note:
John Warren Aldrich (1906-1995) was a Research Associate of the Division of Birds of the National Museum of Natural History. Aldrich's interest in natural history began in his youth, with participation in bird walks and summer nature camps. After receiving his Ph.D. in biology from Brown University in 1928, Aldrich began his career at the Buffalo Museum of Science. In 1930, he joined the staff of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as a biological assistant. Upon receipt of his Ph.D. in 1937, from Western Reserve University, Aldrich was appointed Curator of Ornithology at the Cleveland Museum. In 1941, Aldrich joined the staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service as a biologist; in 1947, he was appointed Chief of the Section of Distribution and Migration of Birds; in 1951, Chief of the Section of Distribution of Birds and Mammals; and in 1957, Staff Specialist, Branch of Wildlife Research. During his tenure with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Aldrich was located in the United States National Museum, Division of Birds, where he worked with the national collections. Because of his long association with the Division, Aldrich was appointed a Research Associate upon his retirement in 1973. Aldrich's research interests included the taxonomy of North American birds, breeding bird population studies, bird banding, bird distribution studies, ecology, endangered species, and wildlife management. Aldrich was active in many professional organizations including: the Audubon Society, American Ornithologists Union, Baird Ornithological Club of Washington, D.C., Biological Society of Washington, Cosmos Club, International Council for Bird Preservation, Washington Biologists Field Club and Wilderness Society.
Topic:
Ornithology  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Ornithologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9511, Aldrich, John W. (John Warren), 1906-1995 interviewee., John Warren Aldrich Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9511
See more items in:
John Warren Aldrich Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9511

Oral history interview with Richard Eliot Blackwelder

Creator::
Blackwelder, Richard E. interviewee  Search this
Extent:
2 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Transcripts
Date:
1978
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or student on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Blackwelder was interviewed for the Oral History Collection to document his career in entomology and his role in the founding of the Society of Systematic Zoology.
Descriptive Entry:
Blackwelder was interviewed by Pamela M. Henson on 17 January 1978. The interview covers Blackwelder's education; field work in the West Indies; his career with the USDA, American Museum of Natural History, USNM, St. John Fisher College, and Southern Illinois University; his research interests; the SSZ; and his colleagues. The interview focuses on his years in the Division of Insects, USNM, his curatorial duties, research on Staphylinidae, his colleagues, relations with the USDA staff, and USNM administration. Blackwelder discusses the founding of the SSZ, his role in its development, and relations between the SSZ and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other zoological societies. Blackwelder reminisces extensively about his friend and colleague, Waldo LaSalle Schmitt, Head Curator of Biology in the USNM and a founder of the SSZ.
Historical Note:
Richard Eliot Blackwelder (1909-2001), received the B.A. (1931) and Ph.D. (1934) in zoology from Stanford University. From 1935 to 1938, he conducted entomological field work in the West Indies with the Smithsonian's Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship. He then worked briefly for the White-Fringed Beetle Identification Unit, Bureau of Entomology, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before accepting an Assistant Curatorship in Entomology at the American Museum of Natural History in 1938.

In 1940 Blackwelder joined the staff of the United States National Museum (USNM) as an Assistant Curator in the Division of Insects and in 1942 advanced to Associate Curator. His research specialty was the morphology, classification, and nomenclature of the family Staphylinidae. During World War II, Blackwelder worked in electronics research and development while on leave from the museum. After the war he returned to the Division of Insects and was active in the development of the Society of Systematic Zoology (SSZ), as Secretary-Treasurer from 1949 to 1960, President in 1961, and Editor of its journal, Systematic Zoology.

In 1954 Blackwelder left the USNM and pursued his broader research interests in the principles of zoology. From 1956 to 1958 he was an Associate Professor at St. John Fisher College, and from 1965 until his retirement in 1977 was Professor of Zoology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Zoology  Search this
Biology -- Classification  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Transcripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9517, Blackwelder, Richard E. interviewee, Oral history interview with Richard Eliot Blackwelder
Identifier:
Record Unit 9517
See more items in:
Oral history interview with Richard Eliot Blackwelder
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9517

Frank C. Whitmore, Jr, Interview

Creator:
Whitmore, Frank C. interviewee  Search this
Extent:
2 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1989
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Frank C. Whitmore, Jr., was interviewed for the Oral History Collection by Cain because of his involvement with the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology from its inception to the late 1930s.
Descriptive Entry:
The Frank C. Whitmore, Jr., Interview was conducted in 1989 by Smithsonian Archives visiting fellow, Joseph A. Cain, as part of a research project on the history of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Cain was a graduate student in history of science at the University of Maryland. The interview consists of 2.0 hours of audiotape, 55 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.07 linear meters of shelf space. The Frank C. Whitmore, Jr., Interview discusses his education and career as a vertebrate paleontologist, especially his recollections of the founding of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, reminiscences of colleagues such as Alfred Sherwood Romer and William Berryman Scott, and reflections on the history of the field of vertebrate paleontology in the United States in the twentieth century. Box 1 contains the transcript and cassette copies of the original reel-to-reel recordings, which are in security storage.
Historical Note:
Frank C. Whitmore, Jr., (1915- ), research geologist for the United States Geological Survey [USGS], specialized in the systematics of fossil mammals. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 17 November 1915, he received the A.B. from Amherst College in 1938. He was awarded the M.S. in invertebrate paleontology in 1939 from Pennsylvania State University. He completed his graduate training in vertebrate paleontology at Harvard University, under Alfred Sherwood Romer, receiving the A.M. in 1941 and Ph.D. in 1942. In 1939, he married Martha Burling Kremers, and they had four children, Geoffrey Mason, John Kremers, Katherine Burling and Susan Hale Whitmore.

After graduation, Whitmore taught geology at Rhode Island State College from 1942 to 1944. He was appointed a Geologist at the USGS in 1944, but was detailed as a scientific consultant to the U.S. Army in the Philippines, Japan and Korea from 1945 to 1946. In 1946, he became Chief of the Military Geology Branch of the USGS, a position he held through 1959. He then transferred to the USGS Paleontology and Stratigraphy located in the Natural History Building [NHB] where he worked as a research geologist on the systematics of fossil mammals, especially Tertiary Cetacea. His field work focused on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain, Panama, Kentucky and Alaska. He was also appointed a research associate of the National Museum of Natural History [NMNH] during his tenure in the museum.

An active member of the paleontological community since the 1930s, Whitmore joined the Geological Society of America [GSA] while a graduate student, serving as vertebrate paleontology section chair in 1972. He was present at the formative meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology [SVP] in 1938 and remained active in that society, as well as the Paleontological Society [PS], the Geological Society of Washington, as President in 1970, and the Paleontological Society of Washington, as President in 1950.
Topic:
Paleontology  Search this
Geology.  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9557, Whitmore, Frank C. interviewee, Frank C. Whitmore, Jr, Interview
Identifier:
Record Unit 9557
See more items in:
Frank C. Whitmore, Jr, Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9557

Theodore H. Reed Interviews

Creator:
Reed, Theodore H. interviewee  Search this
Extent:
35 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1989-1994
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Reed was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his distinguished veterinary and management career, contributions as a Smithsonian administrator, and long tenure as director of the National Zoological Park. Additional information about Reed can be found in the Records of the National Zoological Park which are also housed in Smithsonian Archives.
Descriptive Entry:
These interviews of Reed by Pamela M. Henson discuss his youth; education; veterinary practice; experiences at the Portland Zoo; and career at the NZP, including his tenure as Veterinarian and achievements as Director, especially renovation and modernization of facilities, development of the Cap-chur Gun, acquisition of such animals as the Giant Pandas, Komodo dragon, and white tigers, development of research and educational programs, creation of an endangered species program and the CRC, participation in the Species Survival Program, his role in the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums and the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens; and reminiscences of such colleagues as William Mann, John Perry, and Leonard Carmichael. An additional interview of Reed by Pamela M. Henson, Historian, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and Caroline Winslow, Graphics Department, National Zoological Department was conducted in 1992. Reed was interviewed about the 1958 Safety Brochure that was created by the Zoo in response to the death a little girl by a lion at NZP. The collection consists of 13 interviews totaling 31.5 hours of audio recordings and 790 pages of transcript. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews. Box 2 contains cassette recordings of the original reel-to-reel recordings, which are in security storage.
Historical Note:
Theodore H. Reed (1922- ), veterinarian and zoo administrator, received the D.V.M. in 1945 from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State College. From 1946 to 1955, he practiced as a veterinarian in Oregon and Idaho. He gained experience with exotic animals while serving as a veterinarian to the Portland Zoological Park from 1951 to 1955. In 1955, Reed was appointed Veterinarian at the National Zoological Park (NZP). In 1956, he was named Acting Director after the retirement of William M. Mann, and in 1958, he advanced to Director. During his tenure, Reed oversaw a capital renovation of the NZP; development of the Conservation and Research Center (CRC) in Front Royal, Virginia, in 1974; a transition from display of exotic specimens to breeding of endangered species; and many advances in exotic animal care and medicine. Reed retired from administration in 1983 and from the NZP in 1984.
Rights:
Restricted.
Topic:
Conservation of natural resources  Search this
Zoos  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9568, Reed, Theodore H. interviewee, Theodore H. Reed Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9568
See more items in:
Theodore H. Reed Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9568

Curtis W. Sabrosky Interviews

Creator:
Sabrosky, Curtis W, (Curtis Williams),1910- interviewee  Search this
Extent:
5 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1988
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or student on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Curtis W. Sabrosky was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his long and distinguished career as Research Entomologist, and because of his memories of work and colleagues in the National Museum of Natural History.
Descriptive Entry:
The Sabrosky interviews were conducted by Pamela M. Henson, historian, Smithsonian Institution Archives, in March of 1988. The interviews cover his education; career at the USDA; work with the National Entomological Collection maintained by the NMNH; interests in issues of taxonomic nomenclature, development of International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (the Code), especially his work with the ICZN; work with the Entomological Society of America (ESA); and reminiscences of colleagues, notably J. Chester Bradley, Roland Wilbur Brown, John Frederick Gates Clarke, and Carl Frederick William Muesebeck. This collection is comprised of three interview sessions, totaling 5.0 hours and 217 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.5 linear meters of shelf space. There are two generations of tape for each session: original tapes and reference tapes. In total, this collection is comprised of 10 original 7" reels and 5 reference copy audio cassette tapes.
Historical Note:
Curtis W. Sabrosky (1910-1997), was born on April 3, 1910, in Sturgis, Michigan, and became an Entomologist specializing in Diptera. He received the A.B. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 1931, the M.S. in zoology from Kansas State College (KSC), later Kansas State University, in 1933, and the Sc.D. from Kalamazoo College in 1966. From 1936 to 1944, he taught at Michigan State College (MSC), and served in the Public Health Service during World War II. In 1946, he joined the staff of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), first with the Bureau of Entomology and later with its Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) as a Research Entomologist, and serving as Research Director from 1967 to 1973. From 1980 to 1988, he was a Cooperating Scientist at SEL, as well as a Research Associate of the Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). A specialist on issues of taxonomic nomenclature, from 1963 to 1985, he served as a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Biology -- Classification  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Museum curators -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9583, Sabrosky, Curtis W, (Curtis Williams),1910- interviewee, Curtis W. Sabrosky Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9583
See more items in:
Curtis W. Sabrosky Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9583

Field Reports

Creator:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  Search this
Extent:
17.2 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1860-1961
Descriptive Entry:
This collection consists primarily of reports, notebooks, notes, photographs, maps, and related materials documenting field research conducted by staff naturalists of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and its predecessor, the Bureau of Biological Survey. The reports, which primarily concern biological surveys conducted in the United States, are usually submitted to the Chief of the Bureau or to the division or section responsible for field research. Also included are a substantial number of reports concerning field work carried out in Canada and Mexico. A small amount of reports document work in South and Central America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Antarctica.

Most of the field reports are of a general nature documenting biological surveys of a particular state or geographical region. They fall into three categories: special reports, physiography reports, and plant reports. Notes on birds and mammals are joined to comprise the special reports and concern the observation, identification, distribution, and collecting of specimens. The physiography reports consist of notes and observations on the natural phenomena of the area surveyed, such as climate, topography, bodies of water, etc. Notes on plant life, trees, and vegetation are recorded in the plant reports.

Reports on specific projects or topics are found throughout the collection. Included are reports on predatory animal control; faunal distribution and migratory studies; national parks and wildlife refuges (including reports on proposed parks and refuges); species introduction projects; wildlife management studies; conservation and wildlife problems; environmental impact studies; animal behavior projects; wildlife diseases and epidemics; bird-banding projects; and fur-bearing animal studies.

The collection also includes correspondence from staff naturalists and the general public usually pertaining to birds or mammals observed; newspaper clippings; and publications.
Historical Note:
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has its origin in the work of C. Hart Merriam and the old Bureau of Biological Survey in the United States Department of Agriculture. By 1885, the ornithological work being conducted by the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) and other private organizations and individuals had grown to the point where private interests were no longer able to finance it sufficiently. Congress was then persuaded to establish a section of ornithology in the Division of Entomology of the Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the section was "the promotion of economic ornithology, or the study of the interrelation of birds and agriculture, an investigation of the food, habits, and migration of birds in relation to both insects and plants, and publishing reports thereon." Through the influence of the AOU and Spencer F. Baird of the Smithsonian Institution, Merriam was appointed Ornithologist. The following year the section attained independent rank as the Division of Ornithology. In 1888 its responsibilities were expanded to include mammals, resulting in a new title - the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy.

Merriam's concept of life zones which are fitted by nature for the life of certain associations of plants and animals, and his estimation of the value which the delimitation of such areas would have for agriculture, led him to propose the establishment of a Biological Survey into which his own division would be merged. The 1896 name change of the Division to the Division of Biological Survey was the result. In 1905, it became a Bureau within the Department of Agriculture.

The Bureau of Biological Survey remained within the Department of Agriculture until 1939 when it was transferred to the Department of Interior. The following year it was combined with the Bureau of Fisheries, which had been transferred to Interior from the Department of Commerce, to form the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

From the beginning of the Survey's work, field research was of primary importance in gathering information concerning the interrelation of birds, mammals, and agriculture. Field surveys continued to play an important role as the Bureau's work evolved to include game protection, research on fur-bearing animals, the management of game refuges, predatory animal control, and the protection of migratory birds. Surveys conducted by the Bureau usually entailed sending individual naturalists or groups of workers to collect mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians in a particular state or geographic region. The collections would be augmented by detailed notes, specimens of representative plant life, and photographs of the environment being studied. The compiled materials would serve as the basis for a detailed report on the region. Biological surveys were also conducted at several regional field stations administered by the Bureau.
Topic:
Botany  Search this
Ecology  Search this
Mammalogy  Search this
Ornithology.  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7176, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Field Reports
Identifier:
Record Unit 7176
See more items in:
Field Reports
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7176

Senate of Scientists Interviews

Creator:
National Museum of Natural History, Senate of Scientists  Search this
Extent:
19 audiotapes (reference copies). 16 digital .mp3 files (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1975
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 conducts interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

The Senate of Scientists Project was conducted at the suggestion of W. Donald Duckworth and with the support of then-chairman Erle G. Kauffman, to document the role of the Senate in the history of the National Museum of Natural History and the Institution.
Descriptive Entry:
In 1975-1976, at the suggestion of W. Donald Duckworth, and with the support of then-chairman Erle G. Kauffman, the Smithsonian historian Pamela M. Henson conducted a series of ten interviews of senate officers about the history of the Senate of Scientists. The interviews document the formation of the Senate, contributions of its leaders, its activities from 1963 to 1976, and they provide an overview of its role in the museum and the Institution. Interviewees were: Richard S. Boardman, Martin A. Buzas, W. Donald Duckworth, Clifford Evans, Jr., Gordon G. Gibson, W. Duane Hope, Erle G. Kauffman, Porter M. Kier, Saul H. Riesenberg, and Clyde F. E. Roper. Boxes 1-10 contain transcripts of the interviews and cassette and digital audio copies of the original reel-to-reel recordings, which are in security storage. The interview consists of approximately 16.5 hours of tape, 563 pages of transcript, 16 digital audio files, and occupies 0.5 cubic feet of shelf space.

The recording of the interview of Richard S. Boardman may not be used without the written permission of Richard S. Boardman, or his heirs or assigns. The Clyde F. E. Roper interview has not been deeded to Smithsonian Institution Archives and cannot be used with the written permission of Clyde F. E. Roper or his heirs or assigns.

The Clyde F. E. Roper interview has not yet been accessioned into the Smithsonian Oral History Collection. Permission to use the draft transcript or recording must be secured from Clyde F. E. Roper or his heirs or assigns.
Historical Note:
In 1963, a Senate of Scientists was formed to represent professional concerns of the scientific research staff of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) at the Smithsonian Institution. Molded on faculty senates in universities, the senate was structured to function as a trouble-shooter and source of collective opinion outside normal administrative channels. The executive arm of the senate is the council which manages the day-to-day activities and consists of a chairman, chairman-elect, secretary, and one councilor elected by each curatorial department. Full membership in the senate is restricted to scientists employed by the NMNH, but associate membership is extended to research associates of the museum and to scientists located in the museum but employed by related agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

When an issue arises that the senate deems is in need of attention, membership is polled for opinions, and the council forwards a report and/or recommendation to the appropriate administrator. Significant issues addressed by the senate include library service, publication policies, off-Mall storage and curatorial facilities, technical assistance, program offices, automated data processing facilities, and funding for systematics research. The senate has fostered lines of communication between Institution administrators and the non-administrative scientific staff. In addition, the senate has served as a stimulus to collegiality within the museum, through its "field guide to curators," seminars, teas, and dinner forums.
Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu, 202-633-5910 for details.
Topic:
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9508, National Museum of Natural History, Senate of Scientists, Senate of Scientists Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9508
See more items in:
Senate of Scientists Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9508

Frank A. Taylor Interviews

Creator:
Taylor, Frank A, (Frank Augustus), 1903- interviewee  Search this
Extent:
26 audiotapes (reference). 45 digital .mp3 files (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1974, 1979-1980, 1982, 2005
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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 interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Taylor was interviewed for the Oral History Program because of his long and outstanding scholarly and administrative career during his sixty years at the Smithsonian.
Descriptive Entry:
Taylor was interviewed by Miriam S. Freilicher on ten occasions between January and April of 1974, by Pamela M. Henson on seven occasions between July 1979 and April 2003, and by Henson and Cynthia Field in May of 2005. The interviews cover Taylor's youth and education, career at the Smithsonian from laboratory apprentice to Director-General of Museums, work on the Exhibits Modernization Program, development of the National Museum of History and Technology, role as an administrator and work in the international museum community.
Historical Note:
Frank A. Taylor (1903-2007) was a Curator of Engineering and Industries and administrator at the Smithsonian. He was born in 1903 in Washington, D.C., where he grew up. In 1922 he accepted a position as Laboratory Apprentice in the Division of Mechanical Technology of the United States National Museum (USNM), and in 1925 he advanced to Museum Aid. After receiving the B.S. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Taylor was appointed Assistant Curator in 1929. He became Curator of the Division of Engineering in 1933 and Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries in 1948. Taylor also received the J.D. from Georgetown University Law School in 1934.

During his early years at the Smithsonian, Taylor worked to improve the exhibits and collections in the Arts and Industries Building of the USNM. During the depression, he was assistant director of the Historical American Merchant Marine Survey, W.P.A. Federal Project #6, which was administered through the Smithsonian. In 1950, as chairman of the Exhibits Modernization Committee, he began planning the renovation program for exhibits in the USNM. In 1946 he also began the planning effort for a science and technology museum, and in 1954, the authorization for the National Museum of History and Technology was passed by Congress. In 1955 he was appointed Assistant Director of the USNM with special responsibility for planning the NMHT. Taylor oversaw construction of the building, hiring of staff, and development of exhibits. In 1958 he was appointed the first Director of the new museum which opened in January of 1964.

In the fall of 1962 Taylor was appointed Director of the United States National Museum with responsibility for both the National Museum of History and Technology and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). In 1968 he became Director-General of Museums with responsibilities for Smithsonian-wide programs in conservation, exhibits and registration, the National Museum Act programs, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Taylor was active in the international museum community and worked closely with the American Association of Museums and the International Council of Museums. He oversaw the 1965 Belmont Conference and Report on the needs of America's museums which led to the National Museum Act and the Museum Services and Facilities Act. Taylor was responsible for the development of the legislation and programs of the National Museum Act. Taylor retired on 23 January 1971 but continued to work at the Smithsonian as a Research Associate of Smithsonian Institution Archives and as Consultant to the Secretary until 1983.
Topic:
The Torch (Serial)  Search this
Museum techniques  Search this
History of science and technology  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Museum directors -- Interviews  Search this
Museum architecture  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9512, Taylor, Frank A, (Frank Augustus), 1903- interviewee, Frank A. Taylor Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9512
See more items in:
Frank A. Taylor Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9512

Records

Creator::
Association of Curators Project (National Museum of American History)  Search this
Extent:
3 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1983
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives 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.

Margaret Brown Klapthor, J. Jefferson Miller, and John T. Schlebecker, Smithsonian curators, were chosen to present their reminiscences because of their long and distinguished careers at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Descriptive Entry:
Harold D. Langley, chair of the Association of Curators, NMAH, moderated these sessions in 1983, and they were recorded by Smithsonian Institution Archives Historian, Pamela M. Henson. The Association of Curators Project consists of 3 reminiscence sessions, totaling approximately 3.0 hours of audiotape recordings, 71 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.5 linear meters of shelf space. There are four generations of recordings: original tapes, reference tapes, digital audio preservation files and digital audio reference files. In total this collection is comprised of 3 original 5" reel-to-reel audiotapes, 3 reference copy audiocassette tapes, 6 digital audio .wav files, and 6 digital audio .mp3 files. The original tapes and preservation digital files are reserved in preservation storage.

Restrictions: The John T. Schlebecker interview may not be used without the permission of Schlebecker or his heirs or assigns. Contact the Institutional History Division of Smithsonian Institution at SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Historical Note:
In 1983, the chair of the Association of Curators of the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Harold D. Langley, hosted a series of talks by senior curators "On Being a Curator." Informal remarks were followed by a question and answer period with curatorial staff. Margaret Brown Klapthor, J. Jefferson Miller, II, and John T. Schlebecker discussed their careers at the museum, focusing on development and curation of collections, and reminiscences of their museum years. Klapthor and Miller served on the NMAH Collections Committee and also addressed issues of collecting policies and curatorial methods. Their reminiscences span the years of the United States National Museum (USNM), the formation of a separate National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), and its renaming as the National Museum of American History in 1980.

Margaret Brown Klapthor (1922-1994) received the B.A. from the University of Maryland and was appointed Museum Aid in the Division of History of the USNM in 1943. She advanced to Assistant curator in 1947, Associate Curator in 1952, and Curator in 1970. After forty years at the museum, she retired in 1983. Her curatorial work focused on the First Ladies gowns collection, White House china, and political campaign contributions.

J. Jefferson Miller, II (1928-2005) received the B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and the L.L.B. from the University of Maryland. He changed careers after pursuing a fellowship in American decorative arts at Winterthur and receiving the M.A. in American culture history from the University of Delaware. He came to the Division of Ceramics and Glass of the NMHT as Assistant Curator in 1962, after completing his master's degree. He served as Associate Curator from 1964 to 1969 and Curator from 1970 until his retirement in 1980. He then served as director of the Maryland Historical society from 1984 to 1989. His collecting and research focused on European ceramics and American art porcelains.

John T. Schlebecker, a noted scholar of agricultural history and a key player in the living historical farms movement, graduated from Hiram College in 1949 with a major in social science, earned the M.A. in history from Harvard University in 1951 and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1954. He was curator of agricultural history at the American History Museum from 1965 until his retirement in 1984, and also served as chair of the Department of History of Science and Technology in 1978.
Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions.
Topic:
History  Search this
Museum techniques  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Special events  Search this
Museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9522, Association of Curators Project (National Museum of American History), Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 9522
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9522

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