Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 9513
Mann, Lucile Quarry, 1897-1986, interviewee
Lucile Quarry Mann Oral History Interviews, 1977
Lucile Quarry Mann (1897-1986) was an editor and staff member of the National Zoological Park (NZP). She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received the B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in 1919. During World War I, she worked in Washington, D.C., with Military Intelligence. After the war, she was appointed assistant editor of the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture. Lucile Quarry left the bureau in 1922 and became an editor for The Woman's Home Companion. In 1926 she married William M. Mann (1886-1960), an entomologist specializing in ants and termites.
After receiving the Sc.D. from Harvard University in 1915, William Mann collected insects in Fiji and the Solomon Islands as the Sheldon traveling fellow. From 1917 to 1925, he was a specialist in ants for the Bureau of Entomology and, during 1921-1922, participated in the Mulford Biological Exploration of the Amazon Basin. In 1925, he was appointed director of the National Zoological Park, and in 1926 led the Smithsonian Institution-Chrysler Expedition to Africa to collect animals for the NZP. Both the Manns traveled extensively for the NZP: to European zoos in 1929, 1938, and 1948, Central America in 1930, British Guiana in 1931, the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies in 1937, Argentina in 1939, and the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940. William Mann represented the Explorers Club and Lucile Mann the Society of Women Geographers in their travels.
Lucile Mann began work in the administrative offices of the NZP in 1951, continuing after William Mann's retirement in 1956 and death in 1960. She was primarily responsible for the NZP's annual report until her retirement in 1971.
Both the Manns published about their lives and interests. In addition to his many scientific monographs, William Mann published Wild Animals in and Out of the Zoo (1929) and Ant Hill Odyssey (1948). Lucile Mann published From Jungle to Zoo, Adventures of a Naturalist's Wife (1934), Tropical Aquarium Fishes (1934), and Friendly Animals, A Book of Unusual Pets (1935). The Manns had a wide circle of friends in many walks of life. William Mann was a circus fan as well as an opera enthusiast.
Lucile Mann kept tropical aquarium fishes and published about her hobby. William Mann founded the Vivarium Society, a group of individuals interested in keeping cold-blooded pets. Many animals born in the NZP were raised in the Manns' home across the street.
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. The collection also contains interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Lucile Quarry Mann was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of her long association with the Smithsonian Institution and National Zoological Park spanning 58 years.
Lucile Mann was interviewed on June 9 and 22, July 14 and 20, and August 11 and 16, 1977 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover Lucile Mann's education; editorial and administrative careers with the Bureau of Entomology and National Zoological Park; marriage to William M. Mann and life as wife of the NZP Director; travels and expeditions for the Zoo; animals raised in their home; famous residents of the Zoo, such as N'Gi, the zoo's first gorilla, and Smokey the Bear; and reminiscences about famous scholars and personalities, such as Austin H. Clark, Leonhard Stejneger, Noel Coward and Alexander Woollcott.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Mann, Lucile Quarry, 1897-1986
- Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943
- Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943
- Coward, Noel, 1899-1973
- Clark, Austin Hobart, 1880-1954
- Mann, William M., 1886-1960
- Henson, Pamela M., interviewer
- United States. Bureau of Entomology
- National Zoological Park (U.S.)
- University of Michigan
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9513, Lucile Quarry Mann Oral History Interviews