Ivan Karp (1943-2011) was a curator of African Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) from 1984 to 1993. He was also a professor at Emory University from 1993 to 2011. He conducted fieldwork among the Iteso (Teso) of Kenya and made significant contributions to the areas of African systems of thought, social theory, museum studies, and public scholarship. His collection contains his research on the Iteso of Kenya; his work at Emory University and the Smithsonian Institution; his reviews of manuscripts and books; recommendations that he wrote for his colleagues and students; his published articles and papers presented at conferences; and his project files on various topics including museum studies, African philosophy, public scholarship, agency and personhood, and the history of social anthropology.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the professional papers of Ivan Karp, documenting his work as an anthropologist, professor, and museum curator. The materials include his research on the Iteso of Kenya; his work at Emory University and the Smithsonian Institution; his reviews of manuscripts and books; recommendations that he wrote for his colleagues and students; his published articles and papers presented at conferences; and his project files on various topics including museum studies, African philosophy, public scholarship, agency and personhood, and the history of social anthropology.
Karp's Iteso research files span from the late 1960s to the 1990s. These materials consist of his field notes, in both paper and digital form; household surveys; photographs; sound recordings; maps; grant proposals; bibliographic research; correspondence; notes and drafts of his dissertation; and his other writings. A great deal of the field materials was collected by his field assistants, particularly Steven Omuse. Some field materials were also collected by Karp's first wife, Patricia.
His Smithsonian files are electronic and contain little documentation regarding his administrative work. There are, however, some materials relating to the planning of exhibits at NMNH and a proposal to establish a program focusing on the African continent and the African Diaspora. There is also a memo with Karp's response to questions from a House Subcommittee regarding the National African American Museum and complaints about the NMNH Africa Hall. Other associated materials include his research and papers on museums and exhibits. While there are no files pertaining to the first two museum conferences he organized, a folder titled "Bellagio" contains documentation for the conference and associated workshops on museums and globalization that he organized while at Emory.
Karp's files from Emory are also in digital form and more substantive than his Smithsonian materials. They document his work on the different committees he chaired and programs he directed and founded, including the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship. His Emory files also include his comments on students' dissertations, papers, and proposals.
The digital files also document Karp's other areas of interests, particularly African philosophy; concepts of identity, personhood, and agency; and the relationships between international development and personhood. His work on African philosophy largely consists of files from a number of collaborative projects with Kenyan philosopher Dismas Masolo, including the 1993 conference in Nairobi they organized and the associated volume they edited, African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry (2000). There are a few files of research on the Luo people. His research on development and personhood focuses on Africa, particularly on Kenya, and includes his papers, notes, and reference sources, which also exist in paper form. There are also files of obituaries and memorials of Karp from numerous publications and events.
Other materials in Karp's collection include his doctorate diploma, his Master's thesis, family photos, and a wedding album from his first marriage.
This collection is organized into 6 series: 1) Iteso Research; 2) Development Discourse; 3) Personal; 4) Photographs; 5) Sound Recordings; 6) Born Digital Files.
Biographical / Historical:
Ivan Karp (1943-2011) was a curator of African Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) from 1984 to 1993. He conducted fieldwork among the Iteso (Teso) of Kenya and made significant contributions to the areas of African systems of thought, museum studies, and public scholarship.
Karp was born on August 27, 1943 in Stamford, Connecticut. He attended the University of Vermont as an undergraduate, majoring in Sociology and Anthropology (1961-1965), and pursued graduate studies in Social Anthroplogy at the University of Rochester (1967-1969). Karp received his M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1974) from University of Virginia. As a doctoral student he conducted research among the Iteso from 1969 to 1971. His dissertation, titled Fields of Change Among the Iteso of Kenya, was published in 1978. Karp continued his research on the Iteso into the 1990s and published various papers including "Beer Drinking and Social Experience in African Society" (1980) and "Laughter at Marriage: Subversion in Performance" (1987).
Before his employment at the Smithsonian, Karp held a teaching appointment at Colgate University from 1972 to 1975 and was a professor at Indiana University from 1976 to 1984. At Indiana University, he coedited with Charles S. Bird Explorations in African Systems of Thought (1980), the first of a 34-volume series published under his editorship.
He left Indiana University in 1984 to become the Curator of African Ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History. While at the Smithsonian, he served as Chair of the Ethnology Division and established with William Merrill the Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry. It was also during this period that Karp began to critically examine museum practice, concepts of identity and agency, and systems of representation in relation to museum exhibits. He and Steven Lavine organized two major conferences on museums and co-edited the resulting conference proceedings: Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display (1991) and Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture (1992).
In 1993, Karp left the Smithsonian to direct the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (1993-1996) at Emory University. He also served as director of the university's Institute of African Studies (1996-1999) and the Emory Center for International Studies (1996-1999). In addition, he cofounded and codirected with Corinne Kratz, his second wife, the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship (CSPS) from 1994 to 2009 and the Grant Writing Program from 1992 to 2011. Through the CSPS, he and Kratz also established and codirected the Institutions of Public Culture program, a collaboration with South African colleagues that brought together scholars of public culture from universities, museums, NGOs, political and arts organizations and related institutions (2000-2008). Karp also continued to facilitate discussions on museums, working with Kratz and his colleagues at the Rockefeller Foundation to organize a series of international workshops and a conference in 2002 on museums and globalization. He coedited Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (2006), a collection of papers presented at the conference.
Karp retired from teaching at Emory University in May 2011 but planned to continue working with the Laney Graduate School's Grant Writing Program until full retirement in August 2013. Not long after finishing his last graduate seminar, Ivan Karp died at the age of 68 on September 17, 2011 in New Mexico.
1943 -- Born on August 27 in Stamford, Connecticut.
1961-1965 -- Undergraduate studies at University of Vermont with major in Sociology and Anthropology.
1965-1967 -- Graduate studies in Social Anthropology at the University of Rochester.
1969 -- Earns M.A. from University of Virginia. Begins conducting fieldwork among the Southern Iteso in Busia District, Kenya.
1972-1975 -- Instructor and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University.
1974 -- Earns Ph.D. from University of Virginia.
1976-1984 -- Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University.
1984-1993 -- Curator of African Ethnology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Insitution.
1987 -- Organizes conference on "The Poetics and Politics of Exhibiting Other Cultures."
1988 -- Organizes conference on "Museums and their Communities."
1993-1996 -- Director of Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, Emory University.
1994-2009 -- Director of Center for the Study of Public Scholarship, Emory University.
1996-1999 -- Director of Emory Center for International Studies, Emory University. Director of Institute of African Studies, Emory University
2000-2008 -- Director of Institutions of Public Culture program through CSPS.
2002 -- Organizes conference on " Museums and Global Public Spheres" held in Italy at Bellagio Conference Center of the Rockefeller Foundation.
2009 -- Moves to Santa Fe, NM where he had bought a home in 2003.
2011 -- Retires from teaching at Emory University. Dies on September 17 at the age of 68.
Artifacts collected by Ivan Karp can be found in the National Museum of Natural History's Department of Anthropology Collections (Accession #390893 and 416181). Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music holds some of Karp's original Iteso sound recordings.
Four DVDs and a videotape were separated from the collection and transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives. One of the recordings is an interview with Karp that Robert Lavenda and Emily Schultz conducted in 1989 to accompany their introductory anthropology textbook, Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition. The rest of the recordings are of Karp giving presentations.
This collection was donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Corinne Kratz in 2014.
Recommendations that Karp wrote for his colleagues and students are restricted until 2061.
Access to the Ivan Karp papers requires an appointment.
Series consists primarily of McCausland's professional and, to a lesser extent, personal correspondence, which includes general, artist, and some family correspondence. Correspondence typically consists of letters to and copies of letters from McCausland, along with enclosures (such as clippings and other printed material; contracts, agreements, and other business and financial papers; and proposals and manuscripts) and related material (such as notes, illustrations, and writings). Correspondents include artists, art organizations, museums, curators, editors, publishers, scholars, research institutions, her agent (Mary Squire Abbot), friends, and her mother, Belle Noble McCausland. Correspondence largely documents McCausland's various professional activities as an art critic, art historian, and freelance writer, and her relationships with various figures of the art and publishing worlds before, during, and immediately after the Second World War.
General correspondence relates to articles and reviews that McCausland wrote for the Springfield Republican; to freelance articles she wrote over the years for various publications, including ones for Parnassus, The New Republic, and Magazine of Art, as well as yearly articles for various encyclopedias (such as Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana, and Collier Encyclopedia); and to various book projects, including Changing New York (1939), Careers in the Arts (1950), and ones on the artists E. L. Henry, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. General correspondence also relates to her teaching job at Sarah Lawrence College and other courses taught; to various editing projects, including photo-editing Carl Sandburg's Poems of the Midwest and the planned book Art and Advertising; her work as a research consultant on the American Processional exhibition and book, and on other exhibitions; and her involvement in various art and social organization, as well as her participation in various conferences. General correspondence largely documents McCausland's tireless efforts to drum up work, and to fund (through various grants and fellowships) and carry out her many research and writing projects.
Correspondence from particular artists, including Arthur Dove, Louis Eilshemius, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Alfred Stieglitz, was maintained by McCausland in files separate from general correspondence. Artist correspondence documents her relationships with these artists - particularly well-documented are her relationships with Dove and Stieglitz - and the artists' reactions to her reviews of their shows. Files of artist correspondence also include some of McCausland's own notes on her feelings about or relationship with particular artists.
Family correspondence consists almost entirely of letters and copies of letters from McCausland to her mother, Belle Noble McCausland. These seem to have originated from the scrapbook kept by McCausland's mother which can be found amongst personal papers.
See Appendix for a list of notable correspondents from Series 2
General correspondence is arranged in rough chronological order. Within individual yearly files, McCausland often grouped together letters to and from a particular correspondent; this existing organization has for the most part been maintained. Selected artist correspondence and family correspondence are arranged in files at the end of the series. Correspondence can also be found amongst research and writing files.
Appendix: Notable Correspondents from Series 2:
List represents only a selection of correspondents from general correspondence.
A. A. Wynn Inc.: 1951
ACA Gallery: 1941, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947
Abbot, Mary Squire (McIntosh and Otis Company): 1941, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1952, 1953
Jones, Howard Mumford (Harvard University): 1947
Kauffer, E. McKnight: 1946
Kent, Rockwell: 1945, 1946
Kirstein, Lincoln: 1941, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947
Kish, Maurice: 1945
Kistler, Aline: 1941
Knight Publishers Inc.: 1938
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo: 1945
Landon, Edward: 1939
Lange, Dorothea: 1945
Larkin, Oliver: 1943, 1944, 1949
Leeper, John and Blanche (see also Corcoran Gallery of Art): 1950, 1951, 1954
Leighton, George: 1945
Lerner, Abe (see also World Publishing Company): 1950, 1951
Lipman, Jean: 1945, 1946, 1947, 1952
Lipton, Norman C. ( -- Good Photography -- ): 1941, 1942, 1943
Longman, Lester: 1940
MacMahon, Audrey (see also -- Parnassus -- ): 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942
The MacMillan Company: 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950
Magazine of Art -- : 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
Magriel, Paul: 1954
Maurer, Alfred L.: 1951
Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1943, 1947, 1955
Miller, Dorothy: 1950, 1951
Milwaukee Art Institute: 1948
Minicam Photography -- : 1941, 1943, 1944
Modernage Furniture Corp.: 1945
More, Herman (Whitney Museum of American Art): 1954
Morton, Phillip: 1951, 1952
Mount Holyoke College: 1943
Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute: 1956
Museum of Modern Art: 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945
Museum of the City of New York: 1958
N.W. Ayer and Son: 1945, 1946, 1950
The Nation -- : 1940, 1955
National Gallery of Art: 1944, 1945
National Maritime Union: 1945
Navas, Elizabeth: 1952, 1953, 1954
Neuberger, Roy: 1952
The New American Library -- : 1955, 1956
The New Republic -- : 1944, 1947
The New School for Social Research: 1945
The New York Herald Tribune -- : 1945, 1947
New York Historical Society: 1943
New York Public Library: 1943, 1955, 1956
New York State Museum: 1949
The New York Times -- : 1940
Newark Museum: 1944
Newhall, Beaumont: 1944
Newhall, Nancy: 1945
Norman, Dorothy: 1934, 1937, 1938, 1940
Old Print Shop: 1945
Olmsted, Anna Wetherill (Syracuse Museum of Art): 1950
Opportunity -- : 1943, 1944, 1945
Ossorio, Alfonso: 1953
P. F. Collier and Son Corp.: 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958
Pach, Walter: 1955
Parnassus -- : 1939
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art: 1951
Pepsi-Cola Company: 1944, 1945
Philadelphia Art Alliance: 1946
Pierre Matisse Gallery: 1938, 1939
Popular Photography -- : 1943
Portland Art Museum: 1940
Porter, Eliot: 1954
Printer's Ink (Carl Weiss): 1951
Railway Express Agency: 1949
Rivera, Diego: 1949
Rogers, John C.: 1941
Roosevelt, Eleanor: 1944
Rosenblum, Walter: 1944
Rothschild, Lincoln: 1937, 1942, 1945, 1946, 1949
Royce, William: 1933, 1934, 1935, 1942, 1958
Rukeyser, Muriel: 1941, 1950
San Francisco Chronicle -- : 1951, 1953
Sarah Lawrence College: 1942, 1943, 1944
Saturday Evening Post -- : 1946
Schlesinger, Arthur: 1943
School Art League of New York City: 1953, 1954
Schwimmer, Rosika: 1933, 1935, 1943
Sculpture's Guild: 1938, 1940, 1941
Segy, Ladislaw: 1943
Shelter -- : 1939
Sloan, John: 1951
Smith College Museum of Art: 1939, 1954
Soby, James Thrall: 1935, 1946, 1951
Social Science Research Council: 1948
Springfield Museum of Fine Art: 1938, 1940, 1941
Standard Oil: 1946
Stein, Gertrude: 1934
Sterling, Charles (Department of Painting, The Louvre): 1951
Strand, Paul: 1942
Survey Associates -- : 1938, 1939
Sweeney, James John: 1954, 1955, 1956
Thornton, Russell (see also Corcoran Gallery of Art): 1951, 1952, 1953
Time Magazine -- : 1945
Toklas, Alice B.: 1949
Traphagen School of Fashion: 1957
U.S. Camera -- : 1940
University of Chicago Library: 1951
University of Minnesota: 1951
University of Nebraska: 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957
Vanderbilt, Paul (Library of Congress): 1950
Vogue Magazine -- : 1953
Vose, Robert C.: 1945
Wade, Henry: 1954
Walker Art Center: 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951
Walker, Hudson: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952
Ward, Lynd: 1942, 1945, 1947
Western Photography -- : 1946
Weston, Edward: 1943
Weyhe Gallery: 1940, 1951
Wheaton College: 1955
Wheeler, Monroe: 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945
Whitney Museum of American Art: 1946, 1947, 1951
Wichita Art Association: 1947
Williams, Hermann Warner (see also Corcoran Gallery of Art): 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954
Wilson, Sol: 1945
Worcester Art Museum: 1943, 1945
World Publishing Company: 1946, 1949, 1950, 1955
Yale University Art Gallery: 1949
Yale University Library: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Young, Art: 1941
Young Artists Guild: 1948
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1995, bulk 1920-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
At least one-third of the collection consists of Artists Files stemming from the gallery's business relationships (and Betty Parsons' personal relationships) with numerous artists. The correspondence focuses primarily on representation, promotion, exhibitions, and sales. Files contain correspondence with artists, museums, curators, collectors, and dealers, as well as with insurance agencies, and shipping and storage companies. Also found in the files are price lists, sales and expense records, shipping records, exhibition announcements and catalogs, biographical material, clippings, photographs of artwork and artists, writings by and about artists, and related material.
The files provide extensive documentation of the gallery's activities on behalf of individual artists, as well as Betty Parsons' role in the rise of Abstract Expressionism in American art and her close personal relationships with certain artists. Of particular note are the files on Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman, who were among the artists shown in the early years of the gallery. The Pollock file contains letters to and from the artist and his wife, Lee Krasner, as well as correspondence between Peggy Guggenheim and Parsons concerning Pollock's work and career.
Extensive documentation can also be found on the artists Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Other artists of note include Hans Hofmann, Ray Johnson, Lyman Kipp, Robert Murray, Agnes Martin, Alfonso Ossorio, Eduardo Paolozzi, Anne Ryan, Ad Reinhardt, Hans Richter, and Theodoros Stamos.
Correspondence with artists can also be found amongst the gallery correspondence files, as well as in Betty Parsons' personal correspondence. Artists Files are arranged alphabetically by artist and further subdivided if needed by format. Files described as "General" typically include records in a wide variety of formats, such as correspondence, sales and expenses records, and shipping records.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2035. Records may contain personally identifiable information (PII) that is permanently restricted; Transferring office; 03/12/2021 memorandum, Toda to File; Contact reference staff for details
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2034. Records may contain personally identifiable information (PII) that is permanently restricted; Transferring office; 2/27/2009 memorandum, Johnstone to Henderson; Contact reference staff for details
Smithsonian Institution 150th Birthday on the Mall Interviews
1.5 cu. ft. (3 document boxes)
As part of the Smithsonian Institution’s celebration of its Sesquicentennial in 1996, a 150th Birthday Party was held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., over
the course of two days in August. At the Smithsonian Institution Archives tent, staff of the Institutional History Division and volunteers conducted interviews with 39 Smithsonian
current and former staff members and visitors. Staff interviewees discussed their reminiscences of the Institution and their careers. Visitor interviewees discussed their
reminiscences of earlier visits to the Smithsonian. Over 300 visitors to the Smithsonian Archives tent also participated in completing "Smithsonian Memories" sheets, writing
about their fondest memories about visiting the Smithsonian.
Interviewees included: Luis Abad; John S. Anderson; Jason Bezis; Carolyn Jean Blitz; Carol Carpenter; Elizabeth Coggins; Eugene Day; Craig Deering; Sherrone Dunhamm; Kathleen
Fargey; Davis Florick; Nancy Frank; Wilfred Genung-Keats; Mark Gruenberg; Wendy Heine; Catrina Hill; Francine Henderson; Mildred Henninger; Alejandre Jimenez; B. J. Kreider;
Valerie Lambert; Scott Marquiss; Terry Mennefield; Heather Mitchell; Geary S. Mizuno; Richard Montoya; Fred Moosburgger; Mary Novak; Mark C. Paulett; Alexis Radokay; Christopher
Robis; Richard Sacett; Lisa-Anne Samuels; Ruth Schallert, Jane Scholl; Nicole Sobotka; Krista Strider; John Vetter; Pauline Vetter; Ellis L. Yochelson; Beatrice Youngblood.
In conjunction with the individual interview sessions held at the Smithsonian Institution Archives tent, 11 informal, group interview sessions were conducted with Smithsonian
staff at the Narrative Stage tent.
Staff interviewees discussed their careers, daily work, and job experiences. Topics for discussion were "The Art of Scientific Illustration," "Smithsonian's America: Looking
Back at an Exhibit," "Genealogy, Family History, and Preservation," "What is Repatriation?," "Looking Back at the History of Flight," "Rainforests and Elephants: Doing Fieldwork
and Exhibits," "Building a National Zoo," "Keeping the Nation's Treasure House Secure," "Keeping Track of the Nation's Attic: Talking with Registrars," "Taking Care of the
National Collections," and "Office of Smithsonian Archives: An Overview." Interviewees included Luis Abad; John S. Anderson; Gary Aronson; Jason Bezis; Carolyn Jean Blitz;
Nigel Briggs; Lonnie G. Bunch; Carol Carpenter; Emanuel Chase; Elizabeth Coggins; William Cox; Myron Curtis; Eugene Day; Craig Deering; Sherrone Dunhamm; Jennifer Fairman;
Kathleen Fargey; Davis Florick; Shelley Foote; Nancy Frank; Wilfred Genung-Keats; Frank M. Greenwell; Mark Gruenberg; Wendy Heine; Catrina Hill; Francine Henderson; Mildred
Henninger; Pamela M. Henson; Lauri Hinksman Swan; Elaine R. S. Hodges; Michael Horsley; Ellen Roney Hughes; Alejandre Jimenez; Claudia Brush Kidell; B. J. Kreider; Valerie
Lambert; Steve D. Lubar; Scott Marquiss; Terry Mennefield; Beth Miller; Heather Mitchell; Geary S. Mizuno; Richard Montoya; Fred Moosburgger; Karen Mudar; Mary Novak; Mark
C. Paulett; Catherine Perge; Louis R. Purnell; Alexis Radokay; Doug Robinson; Christopher Robis; Mark Rothenberg; Richard Sacett; Lisa-Anne Samuels; Ruth Schallert, Jane Scholl;
Wendy Ann Shay; Ikuko Shoybayshi-Turner; Nicole Sobotka; James Steed; Krista Strider; Paul Harold Theerman; William Turner; John Vetter; Pauline Vetter; Ellis L. Yochelson;
Amanda Young; and Beatrice Youngblood.
Interviewers included Laurie Aceto; Martin Collins; Dan Davies; Rosa Fernandez; Terrica M. Gibson; Barbara Hart; Edie Hedlin; Chandra Heilman; Pamela Henson; Tom Lawrence;
Jennifer Page; Catherine Perge; Kathleen Robinson; and Martha Rosen.
The collection consists of fifty interview sessions, totalling approximately 38 hours and 15 minutes of recordings.
Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Oral History Interviews
37 audiotapes (Reference copies).
The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) 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.
David G. Smith, Museum Specialist, Susan L. Jewett, Collection Manager, and Inci Altug Bowman, volunteer, Division of Fishes, at the National Museum of Natural History,
conducted a series of oral history interviews with senior staff in the division to provide biographical information to the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Bruce B. Collette (1934- ), an Adjunct Scientist, Systematics Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Department of Commerce, received the B.S. in 1956 and the Ph.D.
in 1960 from Cornell University and has spent most of his career at the National Museum of Natural History. His research specialties include the systematics, evolution, zoogeography,
anatomy, and biology of marine fishes, especially Scombroidei (mackerels and tunas), Xiphioidei (bill-fishes), Beloniformes (needlefishes and halfbeaks), and Batrachoididae
Susan L. Jewett (1945- ), Collections Manager, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, received the B.S. from the University of Louisville in 1967. She
joined the staff of the Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, in 1969 as a technician and advanced to Collections Manager. She was involved of the primitive
coelacanths and their study in the 1990s.
Victor Gruschka Springer (1928- ), Senior Scientist Emeritus, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, received the B.A. in 1948 from Emory
University, the M.S. in 1954 from the University of Miami, and the Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of Texas. His research specialties include the systematics, zoogeography,
and anatomy of tropical marine fishes.
James C. Tyler (1935- ), Senior Scientist Emeritus, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, received the B.A. in 1957 from The George Washington
University and the Ph.D. in 1962 from Stanford University. His research specialties include systematic ichthyology, especially Tetraodontiformes (specialized ray-finned fish)
and community ecology of coral reef fishes.
Stanley H. Weitzman (1927-2017) was Curator of Fishes Emeritus, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History. He received the B.A. in 1951 and the
M.A. in 1953 from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Ph.D. in 1960 from Stanford University. He joined the Division of Fishes in 1962 until his retirement in
2007. His research specialties include the systematics, anatomy and phylogeny of South American characiform or ray-finned fishes. He and spouse Marilyn J.S. Weitzman often
collaborated in their work.
Marilyn Jean Sohner Weitzman (1926- ), Research Associate, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, received the bachelor degree in Landscape Architecture
from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949. She married her childhood friend Stanley Weitzman in 1948. She began assisting Weitzman in his NMNH lab in the 1960s
and by the 1970s was doing her own work on Lebiasininae or pencil fish, as well as collaborating with Weitzman.
George R. Zug (1938- ) was named Emeritus Research Zoologist after serving as Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles Emeritus, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum
of Natural History. He received the B.A. in 1960 from Albright College, the M.S. in 1963 from the University of Florida, and the Ph.D. in 1968 from the University of Michigan.
His research specialties include the evolution and systematics of amphibians and reptiles, with emphasis on South Pacific species, and the biology and systematics of turtles.
Jeffrey T. Williams (1953-), Research Associate in the Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, received the Ph.D. in Zoology, University of Florida in 1986,
the M.S. in Zoology, University of South Alabama in 1979, and B.S. in Zoology, Florida State University in 1975. His research focused on the systematics, taxonomy and zoogeography
of tropical marine fishes. William came to the Smithsonian in 1983 and served as Ichthyologist and Collections Manager of Fishes until his retirement in 2020.
The Division of Fishes Interviews cover their childhood, educations, the history of the Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, the careers of these senior
scientists in the department, and reminiscences of colleagues such as Carl L. Hubbs, George S. Myers, and Leonard P. Schultz. The James C. Tyler interviews also cover his
role as an administrator at the Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum.
The collection contains twenty-two interview sessions, totaling approximately 46 hours of recordings and transcripts.
The Division of Fishes in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) was established in the 1850s to carry out research in the systematics of fishes. Throughout
its history, research on the national fish collections at the Smithsonian has been conducted both by curators in the National Museum of Natural History and research staff
of the Bureau of Fisheries, later the National Systematics Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Department of Commerce. The interviewees were Bruce
B. Collette, National Systematics Laboratory, U.S. Department of Commerce; Susan L. Jewett, Collection Manager; Victor Gruschka Springer, Curator; James C. Tyler, Curator;
Stanley H. Weitzman, Curator, Marilyn Jean Sohner Weitzman, Research Associate; Jeffrey T. Williams, Collections Manager, Fishes; and George R. Zug, Curator, Division of Reptiles
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu for more details.
Museum directors -- United States -- Interviews Search this
Museum curators -- United States -- Interviews Search this
Footage of exhibition. Very short narration which mentions Federal City.
B-roll footage and narration (about 1 minute of each). Part of Anacostia Story 1608 -1930 Audiovisual Records. Poor quality, sound distorted. Undated.
Biographical / Historical:
The exhibition, The Anacostia Story, presented the history and development of Anacostia between 1608 and 1930 told through artifacts, photographs, early prints, documents and memorabilia. Well-known residents of the area, including Frederick Douglass, Elzie Hoffman, Dr. Charles Nichols, and Solomon G. Brown, were featured. The exhibition was organized by the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and held there from March of 1977 to March 1978.
Title transcribed from physical asset.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at email@example.com.