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Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 9607

Heyman, Ira Michael, 1930-2011 interviewee

Ira Michael Heyman Oral History Interviews, 1999, 2001, 2004

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Heyman, Ira Michael, 1930-2011 interviewee
Title: Ira Michael Heyman Oral History Interviews
Dates: 1999, 2001, 2004
Quantity: 4 audiotapes (Reference copies).
Collection: Record Unit 9607
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These interviews of Heyman complement a set of interviews at the Regional Oral History Office, University of California at Berkeley, which document his youth, education and career at the University of California. These interviews, conducted by Pamela M. Henson, cover his role as a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, especially his work on the Commission on the Future of the Smithsonian, 1995, and his tenure as Secretary from 1994 to 1999, especially the Enola Gay controversy. It also includes an interview of Heyman by Marc Pachter in 1999.

Historical Note

Ira Michael Heyman (1930-2011), law professor and tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, received his A.B. in government from Dartmouth College in 1951, and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1956. Heyman was a professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley from 1959 to 1990 and also served as Vice Chancellor (1974-1980) and Chancellor (1980-1990). He served on the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents from 1990 to 1994 and as the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1994 to 1999. These interviews of Heyman complement a set of interviews at the Regional Oral History Office, University of California at Berkeley, which document his youth, education, and career at the University of California. Conducted by Smithsonian historian Pamela M. Henson, the Smithsonian interviews cover his role as a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, 1990-1994, especially his work on the Commission on the Future of the Smithsonian, and his tenure as Secretary from 1994 to 1999, especially the Enola Gay controversy. It also includes an interview of Heyman by Marc Pachter in 1999.

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Introduction

The Oral History Program is part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The purpose of the program is to conduct interviews with current and retired members of the Smithsonian staff who have made significant contributions, administrative and scholarly, to the Institution. The project's goal is to supplement the published record and manuscript collections in the Archives, focusing on the history of the Institution and contributions to the increase and diffusion of knowledge made by its scholars.

The Ira Michael Heyman interviews were conducted as part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives Oral History Program because of his role as a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents and then as Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1994 to 1999.

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Descriptive Entry

The Ira Michael Heyman Interviews were conducted in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2007 by Smithsonian Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. The first interview in 1999 was conducted by historian Marc Pachter. This collection consists of six interview sessions, totaling approximately 10 hours of recordings and 331 pages of transcript.

Additional documentation pertaining to Heyman can be found in the Records of the Office of the Secretary.

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Use Restriction

Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9607, Ira Michael Heyman Oral History Interviews

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Container List

Interviews

Interview 1: October 21, 1999

Interviews

The first interview of Heyman was recorded by Marc Pachter, who served as Counselor to the Secretary during Heyman's tenure. Heyman discusses Smithsonian exhibits of particular interest to him, including the Enola Gay and the Star-Spangled Banner; creation of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program; and his role as an agent of change; c. 1994-1999.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-8 of audiocassette recording, 1.0 hour.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 1.0 hour

Interviews
Original Masters: 1 analog audiocassette
Preservation Masters: 1 digital .wav file
Reference Copies: 1 audiotape cassette; 1 digital .mp3 file

Interview 2: April 20, 2001

Interviews

The remaining interviews were conducted by SI Historian Pamela Henson. The series begins with an overview of Heyman's education; tenure as a clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren, reminiscences of the Smithsonian in the 1950s; his teaching career at the University of California; and service of the Smithsonian Board of Regents; c. 1940s-1990s.

Interviews

Transcript 1-88, of audiotape recording, 2.0 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 2.0 hours

Interviews
Original Masters: 4 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 4 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 audiotape cassettes; 4 digital .mp3 files

Interview 3: October 15, 2004

Interviews

Discusses his work on fund-raising, especially with the Smithsonian National Board and its chairman Lloyd Schermer; and management of museums, including the Enola Gay controversy; c. 1990s.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-34, of audiotape recording, 1.0 hour.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 1.0 hour

Interviews
Original Masters: 2 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 2 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 1 audiotape cassettes; 3 digital .mp3 files

Interview 4: October 25, 2007

Interviews

Discusses the creation of the National Museum of the American Indian and work with director Rick West, disputes with architect, and concerns of planning boards; and preparation of the Willful Neglect report on the role of Latinos at the Smithsonian; c. 1990s.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-78, of audio recording, 1:44 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 1:44 hour

Interviews
Original Masters: 3 digital .wav files
Preservation Masters: 3 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 3 digital .mp3 files

Interview 5: October 26, 2007

Interviews

Addresses challenges of maintaining historic, special-purpose buildings, especially federal vs. private funding, and use of bonds for special projects; development of new telescope in Hawaii; renovations of art museum buildings including the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the American Art and Portrait Galleries, acquisition of the Victor Building to provide additional office space; management of the National Air and Space Museum under director Martin Harwit and development of the Udvar Hazy Center near Dulles Airport; coordination of fundraising efforts across the Smithsonian; and the Institution's move onto the Internet in 1995; c. 1990s.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-42, of audio recording, 1.36 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 1:36 hours

Interviews
Original Masters: 2 digital .wav files
Preservation Masters: 2 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 digital .mp3 files

Interview 6: October 29, 2007

Interviews

Focuses on the Sesquicentennial of the Smithsonian Institution in 1996, including the America's Smithsonian traveling exhibit and its reception in various cities, funding raising, and the Festival of American Folklife focus on the Smithsonian and the August 10-11 Sesquicentennial Birthday Party on the National Mall; effects of the 1995-1996 extended government shut-down; changes to the Smithsonian's organizational structure with a provost, without damaging the organization; and reflections on the major challenges of his tenure, notably the Enola Gay controversy and efforts to more actively engage the Board of Regents in the Institution; c. 1990s.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-78, of audio recording, 1:41 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recordings of Interviews: Total Recording Time: 1:41 hours

Interviews
Original Masters: 1 digital .wav file
Preservation Masters: 1 digital .wav file1
Reference Copies: 1 digital .mp3 file