Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 265
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Office of the Director
The beginning of the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (ANM) can be traced to the 1966 Aspen, Colorado meeting of the American Association of Museums. At that time S. Dillon Ripley suggested to the members that museum directors try to take their museums to the people of low income areas by renting store front buildings and creating relevant exhibits to arouse curiosity and stimulate motivation for further learning.
Upon his return, Ripley outlined his idea for a satellite museum. Charles Blitzer, then Director of the Smithsonian's Office of Education, chaired the committee to start the project. With the aid of his assistant Carolyn Bronheim, Benjamin Lawless, Assistant Chief of Exhibits, and Frank A. Taylor, Director General of Museums, the requirements for the satellite museum were defined.
After many meetings with community self-help groups, an advisory council was formed. This council was to function as liaison between the Smithsonian Institution and the community. On April 23, 1967, the newly formed council announced Anacostia in southeast Washington, D.C. as the community for the Smithsonian's first satellite museum. The abandoned Carver Theater was selected as the site.
In June 1967, the museum was formally named Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (ANM). John Kinard was chosen as the director and assumed his duties on July 1, 1967. ANM was officially opened September 15, 1967.
These records consist of materials documenting the following exhibitions: "Blacks in the Westward Movement;" "Buy Now Pay Later" (consumer problems exhibition); "Country Store;" "Drug;" "Sage of Anacostia;" and "The Rat: Man's Invited Affliction." In addition, there is John Kinard's correspondence; memoranda from William Warner, Assistant Secretary for Public Services; budgetary and travel materials; drafts, articles, and printed matter pertaining to ANM history and anniversary celebrations; files on community organization meetings at ANM; and photographs of D.C. Mayor Walter Washington celebrating D.C. community leader Stanley J. Anderson Day at ANM. Related records can be found in Record Units 99 and 145.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Kinard, John, 1936-1989
- Washington, Walter E., 1915-2003
- Warner, William W.
- Anderson, Stanley J.
- Anacostia Museum
- Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
- Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Office of the Director
- Blacks in the Westward Movement (Exhibition) (1975: Washington, D.C.)
- Buy Now Pay Later (Exhibition)
- Country Store (Exhibition)
- Drug (Exhibition)
- Sage of Anacostia (Exhibition) (1969: Washington, D.C.)
- The Rat: Man's Invited Affliction (Exhibition) (1969-1970: Washington, D.C.)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 265, Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Office of the Director, Records