1 Cubic foot (7 films, Reels AC1233-OF0001 and AC1233-OF0002 are composite reels created by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, the former comprising "Children Summer, Fall, and Winter, 1956-1957" and "Challinor Family Home Movie, 1957" and the latter comprising "Guilford, 57-58" and "Challinor Family Home Movie, 1959", 16mm)
16mm motion picture film
White Mountain National Forest (N.H. and Me.)
Mount Snow Ski Resort
Noroton Heights (Darien, Conn.)
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Half Dome (Calif.)
Yosemite Valley (Calif.)
David Challinor served the Smithsonian Institution in an official capacity for 30 years, eventually becoming the assistant secretary to Sidney Dillon Ripley. Joan R. Challinor became an historian and advocate of library sciences and education. In 1956, however, they were busy with their young family. David only returned to university for graduate school in 1957, in his late 30s. They both went on to have successful careers and active family lives. This collection includes 7 home movie films that document thte Challinor family.
Scope and Contents:
The collection comprises seven silent 16mm color home movies depicting David and Joan Challinor, their four children, and other family or friends. Subject matter includes the family's home in Connecticut as well as family vacations throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda, Switzerland, and Iceland.
Collection organized into one series.
Series 1, Motion Picture Film, 1956-1965
Biographical / Historical:
David Challinor and Joan Ridder Challinor were married in 1952 and lived in Houston, Texas where David worked as a cotton broker, farmer, and then a mortgage banker. They had four children: Julia, Mary, Sarah, and David, and six grandchildren. In the late 1950s, they settled in Connecticut, where David pursued graduate studies in forest ecology at Yale University and during which time the couple made home movies.
From 1960-1964, David Challinor served as the deputy director of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History under Sidney Dillon Ripley, and in 1965 became the acting director after Ripley became the Smithsonian's secretary. When in 1966 Challinor received his doctorate from Yale University, Ripley recruited him to serve as the Special Assistant for Tropical Biology of the Smithsonian's Office of the Secretary. From 1967-1971 he served as the deputy director and, subsequently, the director of the Office of International Activites. He then served as Assistant Secretary for Science and Research for sixteen years before becoming the Science Advisor to the Secretary prior to his retirement in 1996 when he was named Scientist Emeritus for the National Zoological Park. He died in 2008, leaving a professional legacy of conservationism.
During Challinor's tenure as Assistant Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian, Joan R. Challinor pursued graduate studies in history at American University, receiving her doctorate in 1982. Her work involved serving on numerous committees and organizations, many of which were library and education related, including the Schlesinger Library Advisory Committee and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Through the 1980s and 1990s, she lectured at American University, was a research associate at the National Museum of American History, wrote numerous essays, edited two books, and even produced a documentary film about Thomas Paine. She was also the director of Knight Ridder, Inc., a print media company, from 1989 until 2001. She continues to live and work in the Washington, D.C. area.
Materials at Other Organizations
The Schlesinger Library of the Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University holds the "Papers of Joan R. Challinor, 1848, 1975-2008", which includes her correspondence, meeting and conference materials, articles, speeches, reports, photographs, and audiotapes (Accession #MC 678; T-446).
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds numerous archival collections, including photographs, papers, files, records, and oral histories related to David Challinor.
The collection was donated by Joan Challinor in 2011.
Collection is open for research on site by appointment. Reference copies do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement with Archives Center staff.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Privacy rights of filmed individuals may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.