Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 9598
Lundeberg, Philip K. interviewee
Oral history interviews with Philip K. Lundeberg, 2000, 2002
Philip Karl Boraas Lundeberg (1923- ) was Curator of Naval History at the National Museum of American History. Lundeberg was born on 14 June 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where his father was a professor at Duke University. He received the B.A. from Duke University in 1994, majoring in history. He served in the U.S. Navy for the remainder of World War II, surviving the sinking of the U.S.S. Frederick Davis in 1945. He pursued graduate studies at Duke University, receiving the M.A. in 1946, and Harvard University, receiving the Ph.D. in 1954. From 1951 to 1953, he worked for the Office of Naval History under Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, preparing a history of the Battle of the Atlantic. Lundeberg then taught at St. Olaf's College from 1953 to 1955 and the U.S. Naval Academy from 1955 to 1959.
In 1959, he joined the staff of the Division of Naval History at the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History (NMAH). From 1962 to 1984, Lundeberg was Curator of Naval History. In 1984, when the Divisions of Naval and Military History were merged to form the Division of Armed Forces History, he was named Curator of Armed Forces History. Following his retirement in 1986, he was named Curator Emeritus of Armed Forces History in 1987. During his career at the NMAH, Lundeberg oversaw the acquisition of the gunboat Philadelphia and worked on exhibits including Magnificent Voyagers. During the 1970s, he became involved in the first committee to develop policies for museum security at the Smithsonian and at the International Council of Museums, working with Robert G. Tillotson.
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.
Philip K. Lundeberg was interviewed for the Oral History Collection to document his career as Curator of Naval History at the National Museum of American History and because of his seminal role in the development of museum security practices at the Smithsonian.
Lundeberg was interviewed in 2000 and 2002 by Smithsonian Institution Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. The interviews discuss his childhood and education, service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, years teaching at St. Olaf's College and the U.S. Naval Academy, and career at the Smithsonian as a curator in the Division of Naval History, including exhibits, collections acquisitions, research and publications, reminiscences of colleagues, and work on the first museum security committee at the Smithsonian. The collection consists of 6.0 hours of audiotape recording and 170 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.5 linear meters of shelf space. There are three generations of recordings for each session: original tapes, preservation recordings, and reference tapes and recordings. In total, this collection is comprised of 12 original 7" reel-to-reel tapes, 12 preservation .wav files and 12 reference .mp3 files, and 6 reference copy audiotape cassettes. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews and cassette copies of the original reel to reel recordings, which are in security storage.
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Lundeberg, Philip K.
- Taylor, Frank A. (Frank Augustus), 1903-2007
- Henson, Pamela M. interviewer
- National Museum of American History (U.S.)
- National Museum of History and Technology
- International Committee on Museum Security
- International Council of Museums
- United States Commission on Military History
- National Trust for Historic Preservation. Committee on Maritime Preservation
- National Museum of American History (U.S.). Department of Transportation
- Museum of History and Technology (U.S.). Division of Naval History
- National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.). Department of Armed Forces History
- Joys of Research, The (Symposium)
- Council of American Maritime Museums
- Museum of History and Technology (U.S.). Department of Armed Forces History
- National Museum of American History (U.S.). Department of Armed Forces History
- Naval history
- Military history
- Historic preservation
- Museums -- Security
- Museum curators -- United States -- Interviews
- Museums -- Employees
- Museum curators
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9598, Lundeberg, Philip K. interviewee, Oral history interviews with Philip K. Lundeberg