Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 9511
Aldrich, John W. (John Warren), 1906-1995, interviewee
John W. Aldrich Oral History Interviews, 1975, 1977
John Warren Aldrich (1906-1995) was a Research Associate of the Division of Birds of the National Museum of Natural History. Aldrich's interest in natural history began in his youth, with participation in bird walks and summer nature camps. After receiving his Ph.D. in biology from Brown University in 1928, Aldrich began his career at the Buffalo Museum of Science. In 1930, he joined the staff of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as a biological assistant. Upon receipt of his Ph.D. in 1937, from Western Reserve University, Aldrich was appointed Curator of Ornithology at the Cleveland Museum. In 1941, Aldrich joined the staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service as a biologist; in 1947, he was appointed Chief of the Section of Distribution and Migration of Birds; in 1951, Chief of the Section of Distribution of Birds and Mammals; and in 1957, Staff Specialist, Branch of Wildlife Research. During his tenure with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Aldrich was located in the United States National Museum, Division of Birds, where he worked with the national collections. Because of his long association with the Division, Aldrich was appointed a Research Associate upon his retirement in 1973. Aldrich's research interests included the taxonomy of North American birds, breeding bird population studies, bird banding, bird distribution studies, ecology, endangered species, and wildlife management. Aldrich was active in many professional organizations including: the Audubon Society, American Ornithologists Union, Baird Ornithological Club of Washington, D.C., Biological Society of Washington, Cosmos Club, International Council for Bird Preservation, Washington Biologists Field Club and Wilderness Society.
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.
Aldrich was interviewed for the Oral History Program because of his long professional association with the Division of Birds of the National Museum of Natural History.
Aldrich was interviewed on September 19, 1975 and April 18, 1977, by Pamela M. Henson. The interview covers his early interests in natural history; education; career in ornithology at the Buffalo Museum of Science, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Museum of Natural History; research interests; and professional activities.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Aldrich, John W. (John Warren), 1906-1995
- Henson, Pamela M., interviewer
- Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States
- Baird Ornithological Club of Washington, D.C.
- Biological Society of Washington
- International Council for Bird Preservation
- Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.)
- Wilderness Society (U.S.)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Washington Biologists' Field Club
- Buffalo Museum of Science
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Vertebrate Zoology
- National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Division of Birds
- National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Zoology
- Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies
- Oral history
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9511, John W. Aldrich Oral History Interviews