Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 369
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Public Affairs
Director's Records, circa 1965-1976
The Office of Public Affairs had its origins in the Editorial and Publications Division of the Institution, which had long been disbursing news about events and exhibitions. In 1965 a separate Office of Information, reporting to the Secretary, was created, in part to deal with festivities and events surrounding the Smithson Bicentennial. B. Richard Berg was appointed director and George J. Berklacy, press officer. The new office issued press releases, answered public inquiries, maintained a system of recorded telephone announcements, arranged for the production of films, and dealt, in general, with the media.
The Office of Public Affairs, reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Public Service, was established in 1968. It was charged with publicizing the programs of the Smithsonian through a broad range of methods of communication, from radio to films to special events. Initially the office provided services including tours, visitor booths, publications, recorded messages, news releases, information leaflets, and the answering of public inquiries.
Frederic M. Philips served as director, 1968-1972. He was succeeded by Carl W. Larsen, who held the position 1972- .
These records consist of alphabetic subject files of the directors, documenting their relations with Smithsonian administrators and museums, and their direction of publications relating to public affairs activities. Major events of the period included the openings of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Collection of Fine Arts, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, as well as the establishment of the annual Folklife Festival and the 1976 American Bicentennial.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Berg, B. Richard
- Berklacy, George J.
- Philips, Frederic M.
- Larsen, Carl W.
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.)
- National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
- National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)
- Smithsonian Institution -- Administration
- Smithsonian Institution. Editorial and Publications Division
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of Information
- Festival of American Folklife
- American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 369, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, Director's Records