This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
Guide to the Smithsonian Archives, 1996
Annals of the Smithsonian Institution, 1985-1996
Smithsonian Directory, 1997, 1999
In the early 1970's public affairs seem to have been handled as an element of the Office of Special Events and reported to the Director of the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT). In 1978 Geraldine E. Sanderson, formerly the Special Events Officer, was appointed Public Information Officer. In 1980 Sanderson began reporting to the Director of the Office of Public and Academic Programs. When NMHT was renamed the National Museum of American History in 1980, the Office of Public Affairs again reported to the Director of the Museum. In 1982 Mary W. Dyer became Public Information Officer, serving until 1985. From 1984 to 1985 Public Affairs reported to the Department of Public Programs. In 1986 an Office of External Affairs, including public relations, was established under J. Renee Kortun. In 1987 Susan Foster became responsible for Public Affairs, serving until 1994. Tensia Alvirez served, 1995-1998, and was succeeded by Melinda Machado, 1998- .
For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of " above.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520