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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Inci Bowman, centennial volunteer interviewer, together with scientific illustrator George Venable, in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History at the conclusion of their interview, 2010. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Natural History.
Inci Bowman, centennial volunteer interviewer, together with scientific illustrator George Venable, in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History at the conclusion of their interview, 2010. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Natural History.
Pamela Henson, today director of the Smithsonian Archives' Institutional History Division, interviewing Horton H. Hobbs, Jr., an expert on crayfish, in 1976. Photo by Jeff Ploskonka, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Pamela Henson, today director of the Smithsonian Archives' Institutional History Division, interviewing Horton H. Hobbs, Jr., an expert on crayfish, in 1976. Photo by Jeff Ploskonka, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives.

For the National Museum of Natural History’s centennial celebrations, the Museum teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution Archives to conduct an oral history program. Staff were invited to submit nominations of interview subjects, and a centennial committee made the final selections. The individuals chosen represent the many types of jobs that go into making the Museum work, as well as the wide range of scientific disciplines that the National Museum of Natural History studies. Staff members volunteered to serve as interviewers and were trained by the director of the SI Archives’ Institutional History Division, Dr. Pamela Henson. These new interviews will form part of the collection of oral histories that Dr. Henson has been conducting at the Smithsonian since the early 1970s.

Listen to the stories of those who greet visitors, travel the globe in search of new species, care for 126 million artifacts and specimens, and prepare exhibits for the public to enjoy. Explore the oceans in a submersible, scan deserts for ancient meteorites, and learn what it takes to run an insect zoo!

 

 

 

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