These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
National Zoological Park Offices, Officials and Programs Files
National Zoological Park. Office of the Director Search this
40 cu. ft. (40 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of records documenting the programs and activities of National Zoological Park (NZP) offices and departments during the tenures of Directors
Theodore H. Reed, 1958-1983; and Michael H. Robinson, 1984-2000.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, departmental reports, meeting minutes, planning files, research proposals and reports, collections management files, policy
development records, award files, exhibition records, animal files, facilities and maintenance files, public affairs records, education files, photographs, biodiversity program
records, project files, records pertaining to workshops and seminars, and other administrative records. Of particular interest are records relating to the Amazonia tropical
rainforest exhibition, giant pandas, the Man and Beast Revisited Symposium, and the NZP Centennial celebration.
See also Accession 01-042, Director's Subject Files, which may contain related records.
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.
As part of the celebration of the Centennial of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), oral history interviews were conducted with museum staff members from an
array of professions and subject areas, by SIA Institutional History Division staff, American University students, and volunteers from 2009 to 2011. Interviewees were nominated
by NMNH staff and the project was coordinated by Heather P. Ewing. Interviews were recorded in digital audio and digital video, and deposited in the Smithsonian Institution
Archives Oral History Collection.
These interviews discuss their careers at the NMNH, work with collections, research, scientific illustration, exhibits, taxidermy, museum security, interaction with
the public and staff. The NMNH Centennial Interviews consist of c. 38.75 hours of interview with 21.25 hours of digital audio recordings, 17.5 hours of digital video recordings,
and c. 500 pages of transcript.
National Museum of Natural History interviewees include Andre R. Bell, Protection Services, NMNH; Audrey Butler, Food Services; Alan H. Cheetham, Curator of Paleobiology;
R. "Chip" Clark, museum photographer; Roy S. Clarke, Jr., Curator of Meteorites; Donald Davis, Curator of Entomology; Elizabeth Dietrich, Supervisory Museum Specialist, Museum
Support Center; Leon Dixon, Locksmith Foreman; Nathan Erwin, manager, Insect Zoo; Frank M. Greenwell, taxidermist; Kristofer M. Helgen, Curator of Mammals; Gary F. Hevel,
Museum Specialist, Department of Entomology; David Hunt, Museum Specialist, Department of Anthropology; James J. Krakker, Museum Specialist, Department of Anthropology; Storrs
L. Olson, Curator of Birds; David L. Pawson, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology; Paul W. Pohwat, Museum Specialist, Department of Mineral Sciences; Paul D. Rhymer, exhibits specialist;
Mary E. Rice, director Emeritus, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce; Martha Rosen, Natural History Branch Librarian for Smithsonian Institution Libraries; George F.
"Rusty" Russell, Supervisory Museum Specialist, Department of Botany; and George Venable, scientific illustrator, Department of Entomology.
Interviewers included Inci Bowman, Mignon Davis, and Mark White from NMNH, Lauren Dare and Pamela M. Henson from Smithsonian Institution Archives, Emma Lang, John Minks,
James Nelson, Cigdem Pakel, William Stapleton, and Bridget Sullivan from American University, and Courtney Shaw and Mary A. Thomas from Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
Some of these interviews are restricted. The Andre Bell, Roy S. Clarke, Jr., Kristofer M. Helgen, Storrs L. Olson, Paul W. Pohwat, Paul D. Rhymer, and Mary E. Rice interviews cannot be used without their permission prior to 2050. The Leon Dixon, Donald Davis, David L. Pawson, and Martha Rosen interview transcripts cannot be used without their permission. The George Venable recording cannot be used without permission. The Audrey Butler, Alan Cheetham, Chip Clark, Elizabeth Dietrich, Nathan Erwin, Frank Greenwell, Gary Hevel, David Hunt, James Krakker, and Rusty Russell interviews are unrestricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
National Zoological Park. Office of the Registrar Search this
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
This accession consists of records that document the Registrar's activities in various National Zoological Park (NZP) programs during the tenure of Judith Block, Registrar,
1977-present. Records include meeting minutes and notes; records documenting the Zoo's Special Care Unit (Hand Rearing); files concerning videotape projects, including giant
panda tapes and the Indian rhino birth in 1972; and related materials.
National Zoological Park. Office of the Registrar Search this
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
This accession consists of records that document the National Zoological Park (NZP) Registrar's involvement with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZAA), formerly
known as the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA), during the tenure of Judith Block, Registrar, 1977-present. Records include correspondence, memoranda,
meeting notes and materials, and committee and board records. Pre-1977 materials were created by Block when she served as Biological Technician at the Zoo.
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.
National Zoological Park. Office of the Director Search this
5 cu. ft. (5 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports, price lists, and publications documenting relations between the National Zoological Park (NZP) and domestic
and foreign zoological parks and animal dealers. Much of the material documents the acquisition, loan, and exchange of animals. Most of the records were created during the
tenure of Director Theodore H. Reed, with smaller amounts created by his predecessor, William M. Mann, and by Associate Director, J. Lear Grimmer.
National Zoological Park. Office of the Registrar Search this
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of records that document the professional activities of the National Zoological Park, Office of the Registrar, during the tenure of Judith Block,
Registrar, 1977-present. The records primarily document the Office's participation in Smithsonian and U.S. councils and regulatory bodies, including the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the CITES International Convention Advisory Commission (ICAC), the
Association of Zoo Registrars (AZR), and the International Zoo Yearbook, as well as in Smithsonian Registrar's groups and councils. Materials include correspondence, memoranda,
notes, meeting materials and related records.
National Zoo: The Zoo Behind the Zoo (Video recording : 1989)
Gems and Minerals: The Ultimate Rock Video (Video recording : 1989)
Smithsonian video collection
Smithsonian Laserdisc Collection
Dinosaurs: Fantastic Creatures That Ruled the Earth (Video recording : 1989)
Insects: The Little Things That Run the World (Video recording : 1989)
First Ladies: Symbols of a Nation (Video recording : 1989)
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications Search this
0.58 cu. ft. (1 tall document box)
This accession consists of laserdiscs from the Smithsonian Laserdisc Collection. The Smithsonian Laserdisc Collection tells the stories behind the Smithsonian Institution's
greatest art, history, and science collections, and introduces the curators of its unique possessions and hidden treasures. Titles from the Collection in this accession include
"Dinosaurs: Fantastic Creatures That Ruled the Earth;" "Insects: The Little Things That Run the World;" "National Zoo: The Zoo Behind the Zoo;" "Gems and Minerals: The Ultimate
Rock Video;" and "First Ladies: Symbols for a Nation." All titles are approximately 60 minutes long and were released on laserdisc in 1989. Some titles were later reformatted
and released as part of the Smithsonian Video Collection.
"Dinosaurs: Fantastic Creatures That Ruled the Earth" is narrated by James Whitmore and compares the dinosaurs of the movies to the real story as told by scientists. The
program features an excavation in progress and the National Museum of Natural History, Hall of Paleontology. "Insects: The Little Things That Run the World" is narrated by
James Earl Jones and demonstrates the stunning ways insects have evolved and adapted to survive for eons while so many other animals have become extinct, and why scientists
consider insects to be the most successful living organism on earth. The program features the National Museum of Natural History, Insect Zoo as well as the Smithsonian Tropical
Research Institute and the National Zoological Park. "National Zoo: The Zoo Behind the Zoo" takes viewers on a magical tour of the Smithsonian Institution's living animal
collection and focuses on scientific study and conservation. The program features the National Zoological Park. "Gems and Minerals: The Ultimate Rock Video" takes viewers
behind the scenes to the spectacular gem and mineral collection. The program features the National Museum of Natural History, Gem and Mineral Hall. "First Ladies: Symbols
for a Nation" allows viewers to learn what it is really like to be a First Lady. The program features Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, and Julie Nixon Eisenhower
as well as the National Museum of American History, Hall of First Ladies.
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing copies are not currently available. Viewing copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
National Zoological Park. Department of Animal Programs Search this
1.58 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (1 tall document box)
This accession consists of records maintained by Lisa Stevens, Collections Manager and, later, Curator, documenting public support of the pandas. The majority of the
records consist of letters, cards, postcards, posters, and artwork sent by the public, especially schoolchildren, to the pandas or their keepers. Some of these materials were
displayed in the Panda House. Records also consist of letters requesting information about the pandas; visitor surveys commenting at length on the pandas; letters expressing
dissatisfaction with a visit to see the pandas or with a particular policy related to the pandas; photographs sent by the public of pandas at other zoos; letters expressing
gratitude or support of a particular issue related to the pandas; and newspaper clippings related about the pandas. The response letter from the zoo is sometimes included.