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G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews

Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Extent:
2 audiotapes (Reference copies). 3 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies).
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Transcripts
Place:
Barro Colorado Island (Panama)
Panama
Brazil
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 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.

Graham Bell Fairchild was interviewed for the Oral History Collection by Hagen because of his involvement with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in its early years.
Descriptive Entry:
The Graham Bell Fairchild Interview was conducted for the Smithsonian Archives on June 7, 1989 by Joel B. Hagen, a Smithsonian postdoctoral fellow, as part of his research on the history of the Canal Zone Biological Area. This interview discusses Fairchild's reminiscences of CZBA and the scientists involved in its development, notably James Zetek, William Morton Wheeler, and Thomas Barbour; his father's interests in the tropics; the development of STRI under Smithsonian administration; the biology faculty at Harvard and the MCZ; and his career in medical entomology.
Historical Note:
Graham Bell Fairchild (1906-1994), was born in Washington, D.C. In his youth, Fairchild was introduced to tropical biology while visiting Barro Colorado Island (BCI) research station of the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA) with his father, David Grandison Fairchild. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in entomology from Harvard University where he studied under William Morton Wheeler, Joseph Charles Bequaert, and Thomas Barbour. Before and during his years at Harvard he also worked at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) studying the collections.

Fairchild began his career as an entomologist stationed in Brazil with the Yellow Fever Commission of the Rockefeller Foundation, from 1935 to 1937. From 1938 to 1971, he worked as an Entomologist at Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama City, Panama, and from 1958 to 1971 he served as Assistant Director. At Gorgas his research focused on the taxonomy of medically important insects, especially Tabanidae and Psychodidae. During his years in Panama, he observed the development of the BCI research station from a small university consortium to Smithsonian aegis as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

The Canal Zone Biological Area was established in 1923 on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in the Panama Canal as a reserve for scientific study of the tropics. Originally designed as a consortium of universities and government agencies by Thomas Barbour, William Morton Wheeler, James Zetek, and others, CZBA was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1946 and in 1966 was renamed the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Topic:
Oral history  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Entomology  Search this
Tropical biology  Search this
Insects as carriers of disease  Search this
Psychodidae  Search this
Horseflies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Transcripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9559
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9559

Interviews

Collection Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9559-refidd1e256

Interview 1: June 7, 1989

Collection Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Container:
Interviews
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews / Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9559-refidd1e263

Covers his education and career as an entomologist, focusing on his experiences in Panama and his work with other scientists affiliated with BCI, c. 1921-1989, including: Early influence of his father, David Fairchild; first trip to the tropics, 1921; ...

Collection Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Container:
Interviews
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews / Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9559-refidd1e278
Online Media:

Transcript, pp. 1-37, of audiotape recording, 1.5 hours.

Collection Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Container:
Interviews
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews / Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9559-refidd1e330

Audio Recordings of Interview: Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours

Collection Creator::
Fairchild, G. B. (Graham Bell), interviewee  Search this
Container:
Interviews
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9559, G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
See more items in:
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews
G. B. Fairchild Oral History Interviews / Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9559-refidd1e341

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