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 I. Michael Heyman interviews were conducted as part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives Oral History Program because of his role as a member of the Smithsonian
Board of Regents and then as Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1994 to 1999.
The I. Michael Heyman Interviews were conducted in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2007 by Smithsonian Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. The first interview in 1999 was conducted
by historian Marc Pachter. This collection consists of six interview sessions, totaling approximately 10 hours of recordings, 331 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.5 cubic
feet of shelf space. There are three generations of recordings for the first three sessions: original audiotapes, preservation digital .wav files and reference audiocassette
tapes and .mp3 audio files. Sessions 4 to 6 were recorded in digital audio, with original digital .wav files, preservation digital .wav files, and reference .mp3 audio files.
In total, this collection is comprised of 1 original audio cassette, 6 original 7" reel-to-reel audiotapes, 4 reference copy audio cassette tapes, 13 digital .wav files, and
13 digital .mp3 files. The original audiotapes and .wav files are reserved in preservation storage. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews and cassette and digital copies
of the original recordings.
Additional documentation pertaining to Heyman can be found in the Records of the Office of the Secretary.
I. Michael Heyman (1930-2011), law professor and tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, received his A.B. in government from Dartmouth College in 1951, and
his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1956. Heyman was a professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley from 1959 to 1990 and also served as Vice Chancellor (1974-1980)
and Chancellor (1980-1990). He served on the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents from 1990 to 1994 and as the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1994
to 1999. These interviews of Heyman complement a set of interviews at the Regional Oral History Office, University of California at Berkeley, which document his youth, education,
and career at the University of California. Conducted by Smithsonian historian Pamela M. Henson, the Smithsonian interviews cover his role as a member of the Smithsonian Board
of Regents, 1990-1994, especially his work on the Commission on the Future of the Smithsonian, and his tenure as Secretary from 1994 to 1999, especially the Enola Gay
controversy. It also includes an interview of Heyman by Marc Pachter in 1999.
The transcripts are available for research use, but the recordings of the interviews of I. Michael Heyman do not have prefaces. Researchers may submit a written request to interviewee's heirs or assigns for written permission to use the recordings.