Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 9581
Rodriguez-Martinez, Pablo, interviewee
Pablo Rodriguez-Martinez Oral History Interview, 1990
Pablo Rodriguez-Martinez (1936- ) was a Game Warden at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), from 1962 to the early 1990s. He was born on March 2, 1936, in Penonome, Montegrande, in the Pajona'l corregimiento of Panama. In 1950, he moved to La Chorrera and in 1961 began working part-time as a General Helper at the Canal Zone Biological Area, which was renamed the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in 1966. In 1962 he was hired full-time with the primary task of guarding Barro Colorado Island (BCI) and other STRI facilities against poachers.
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.
Rodriguez-Martinez was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his long tenure at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as a Panamanian employee. Additional information about Panamanian staff can be found in the Records of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute which are also housed in the Smithsonian Archives and Record Unit 9624 History of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Oral History Interviews.
The Pablo Rodriguez-Martinez interview discusses his background and career at STRI; recollections of colleagues and life on Barro Colorado Island; and changes at STRI over the years. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews and cassette copies of the original reel-to-reel recordings, which are in security storage.
The Pablo Rodriguez-Martinez Interview was conducted in June 1990 by Pamela M. Henson, historian at the Smithsonian Institution Archives . It consists of 0.5 hour of tape and 16 pages of transcript in Spanish and 13 pages in English.
Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Rodriguez-Martinez, Pablo
- Henson, Pamela M., interviewer
- Vitola, Francisco
- Bocanegra, Fausto, 1926-
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Canal Zone Biological Area
- United States. Canal Zone Biological Area, Barro Colorado Island
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Barro Colorado Island
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Tropical biology
- Guards -- Panama
- Security guards
- Conservation of natural resources
- Oral history
- Barro Colorado Island (Panama)
- Panama -- Social life and customs
- Latin America -- History
- Panama -- Description and travel
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9581, Pablo Rodriguez-Martinez Oral History Interview