Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 586
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications
Production Records, circa 1963-1988
The Office of Telecommunications (OTC) was established on August 15, 1976, as a separate unit reporting directly to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Service. Prior to the creation of OTC, coordination of Smithsonian telecommunication activities was a function of the Smithsonian Museum Service, 1958-1965; the Office of Public Information, 1965-1967; and the Office of Public Affairs, 1967-1976. OTC develops ideas for the production of programs and broadcast series for public and commercial television and radio, films, and related visual and audio materials, which bring a better understanding of the Smithsonian to American and foreign audiences. OTC is also the contact point for all interested outside producers of telecommunications projects relating to all Smithsonian bureaus. OTC broadcast series have included Radio Smithsonian, a national, weekly radio program providing information about the multi-disciplinary activities of the Institution which was in production from 1969 to 1990; Smithsonian Galaxy, a series of short radio features highlighting the work of Smithsonian curators, scientists, and researchers broadcast from 1979 to 1987; and Here at the Smithsonian, a series of short features for television, produced from 1982 to 1989. In addition, OTC produces films of special events of the Institution; provides archival recordings of conferences, symposia, and other programs; and produces films for Smithsonian exhibitions. Nazaret Cherkezian was appointed Director of OTC in 1976. He retired in 1986 and was replaced by Assistant Director Paul B. Johnson who served as Acting Director, 1986-1988, and Director, 1988-2002.
These records primarily document the activities of OTC under Director Nazaret Cherkezian. A small amount of records were created by Paul B. Johnson. There are also a few records created by OTC's predecessor offices. The records include correspondence, memoranda, proposals, contracts, budgets, reports, newspaper clippings, press releases, scripts, and related materials concerning OTC radio broadcasts Radio Smithsonian and Smithsonian Galaxy; television and film productions, especially "Smithsonian World" and the Emmy award-winning "The Smithsonian Institution with S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary;" production planning; facilities and equipment, including the construction of the OTC studio in the National Museum of History and Technology; and administrative records.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Cherkezian, Nazaret
- Johnson, Paul B.
- National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
- Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Public Service
- Smithsonian Museum Service
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of Public Information
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of Public Affairs
- Yorktown (Motion picture : 1982)
- Reunions: Memories of an American Experience (Documentary film : 1979)
- Leaf Thieves (Motion picture : 1963)
- Mirrors on the Universe: The MMT story (Motion picture : 1979)
- Sense of Discovery, The National Collection of Fine Arts (Motion picture : 1980)
- Smithsonian Galaxy (Radio program)
- Smithsonian World (Television program : 1984-1991)
- Radio Smithsonian (Radio program)
- Smithsonian Institution with S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary (Television program)
- Here at the Smithsonian (Television program)
- Documentary films
- Intellectual property
- Motion pictures -- Production and direction
- Television -- Production and direction
- Documentary television programs
- Radio programs
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 586, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications, Production Records