SIA RU009504, Oral history interviews with Alexander Wetmore 1974
- Wetmore, Alexander 1886-1978
- Oral history interviews with Alexander Wetmore 1974
- Wetmore, Alexander
- Data Source:
- Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Alexander Wetmore (1886-1978) began his career in systematic ornithology with the United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Biological Survey, in 1910. After working informally with the Smithsonian collections for many years, he was appointed Superintendent of the National Zoological Park (NZP) in 1924, and Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum (USNM) in 1925. In 1945, he was named Secretary and during his tenure oversaw the acquisition of the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA). After his retirement in 1952, he continued his study of North and South American birds as a Research Associate of the Institution.
- These interviews of Alexander Wetmore by Miriam S. Freilicher cover his field work, expeditions for the Bureau of Biological Survey, duties at the NZP and USNM, administration of the Smithsonian, acquisition of the Canal Zone Biological Area, and reminiscences of colleagues, notably John L. Keddy, Louise M. Pearson, and James Zetek.
- Keddy, John L, Pearson, Louise M, Wetmore, Alexander 1886-1978, Zetek, James 1886-1959, Smithsonian Institution Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum, United States Bureau of Biological Survey, Canal Zone Biological Area, National Zoological Park (U.S.), Smithsonian Institution Office of the Secretary, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Barro Colorado Island (Panama)
- Interviews, Collection descriptions, Audiotapes, Oral history
- Local Number:
- SIA RU009504
- Physical Description:
- 2 audiotapes (Reference copies). 4 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies)
Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Table of Contents
Record Unit 9504
Wetmore, Alexander, 1886- interviewee
Alexander Wetmore Interviews, 1974
|General Information About This Collection|
|Repository:||Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Creator:||Wetmore, Alexander, 1886- interviewee|
|Title:||Alexander Wetmore Interviews|
|Quantity:||2 audiotapes (Reference copies). 4 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies).|
|Collection:||Record Unit 9504|
|Language of Materials:||English|
Alexander Wetmore (1866-1978), B.A., University of Kansas, 1912 and Ph.D., George Washington University, 1920, pursued a career of ornithological field work beginning with the U.S.D.A. Bureau of Biological Survey from 1910-1924. After working informally with Smithsonian collections for many years, he was appointed Superintendent of the National Zoological Park in 1924 and as Assistant Secretary in charge of the U.S. National Museum in 1925. In 1945 he became Secretary of the Institution and during his tenure oversaw the acquisition of the Canal Zone Biological Area. After his retirement in 1952, he continued as a Research Associate of the Institution. Dr. Wetmore was well-known for his research and publications of North and South American birds.
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 conduct 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.
Wetmore was interviewed for the Oral History Project because he has made significant scholarly and administrative contributions to the Smithsonian during 50 years of service.
Wetmore was interviewed by Miriam Freilicher on April 18 and May 8, 1974. The interviews consist of reminiscences of his field work, expeditions for the Biological Survey, administration, changes, growth and finances of the U.S. National Museum, reminiscences of colleagues, notably John L. Keddy, Louise M. Pearson, and James Zetek, and the acquisition of the Canal Zone Biological Area.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Assistant Secretary in Charge of the United States National Museum
- Canal Zone Biological Area
- Keddy, John L.
- National Zoological Park (U.S.).
- Pearson, Louise M.
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- United States. Bureau of Biological Survey.
- Wetmore, Alexander, 1886-1978
- Zetek, James, 1886-1959
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9504, Wetmore, Alexander, 1886- interviewee, Alexander Wetmore Interviews
Transcripts of Interviews
Interview 2: 8 May 1974
Audio Recordings of Interviews
Interview 1: 18 April 1974
Interview 2: 8 May 1974
Using the Archives' Collections
Note: In order to access PDFs, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software which is available free of charge.