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Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 9629

Smithsonian Gardens

Smithsonian Gardens Oral History Interviews, 2011

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Smithsonian Gardens
Title: Smithsonian Gardens Oral History Interviews
Dates: 2011
Quantity: 0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Collection: Record Unit 9629
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

American University graduate student Caitlin Miller conducted a series of oral history interviews with early staff of the Smithsonian Office of Horticulture, later renamed Smithsonian Gardens. Barbara Faust, Paul H. Lindell and John Monday discussed their careers at the Smithsonian and the development of the horticultural program at the Institution.

Historical Note

Paul H. Lindell, Barbara Faust, and John Monday were interviewed about their pioneering careers at the Smithsonian Institution and the development of the horticultural program at the Institution.

The Smithsonian Office of Horticulture was established in 1972 by Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley who initially hired James Buckler as the director. Renamed Smithsonian Gardens in 2010, the program has grown rapidly and is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of interior plantscapes; the propagation and culture of rare and unusual plant collections for research and exhibition purposes; production and culture of annuals, biennials, perennials, tropical plants, and other specialized seasonal crops for use in the exterior landscapes, interior plantscapes, for special events and special exhibitions; the application of pesticides; coordination of design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of all winter seasonal designs for the Smithsonian Institution; receipt and maintenance of nursery specimens for future landscape utilization; 365 day cultural care and maintenance of the greenhouse nursery facility and plant material; the procurement of plants, supplies and equipment; educational outreach; and the coordination of all organizational activities with other Smithsonian offices and museum staff for scheduling and planning purposes.

Paul H. Lindell (1943- ) grew up in rural Delaware and attended Brown Vocational Technical High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where he received a technical high school degree, with an emphasis on architectural drafting. He then worked for the Artesian Water Company before he was in the United States Marine Corps for three years as a radio operator. He then attended the College of Agriculture of the University of Delaware and worked at Edward H. Richardson Associates, Inc., Consulting Engineers and Architects, and Tetra Tech Consulting Engineers and Architects. He began his career at the Smithsonian in 1986 as a consultant for the Enid A. Haupt Garden and joined the Office of Horticulture staff in 1987. He served as a landscape architect for Smithsonian Gardens until his retirement in 2011.

Barbara Faust (1955- ), Associate Director of Smithsonian Gardens since 2004, joined Smithsonian staff in 1986 as manager of the Greenhouse Nursery Branch, Horticulture Services Division. She grew up in rural Nelson County, Virginia, and received the B.S. in horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1977. Throughout her career she has been active in the horticultural community.

Jack Monday (1929- ) was born on a farm outside Rockville, Maryland. He was mentored by Gerry Fisher while working as a gardener for the Washington, D.C., government beginning in 1949. He became the head gardener for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in 1965 and moved to the Smithsonian's Office of Horticulture in 1974 upon director Jim Buckler's request to help with preparations for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. He served as Assistant Director of the Office of Horticulture from 1974 to 1986, retiring during the planning phase for the Enid A. Haupt Garden in 1986.

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Introduction

The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) 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 reminiscences and interviews recorded by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

American University history student Caitlin Miller conducted oral history interviews of Smithsonian Gardens staff to document the history of the Smithsonian's horticultural program, for an oral history seminar taught by Smithsonian Archives historian Pamela M. Henson.

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Descriptive Entry

The History of Smithsonian Gardens Oral History Interviews consist of approximately 6 hours of digital audio interviews and 108 pages of transcript. The Monday interview has not been transcribed.

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Access Restriction

The Lindell interview session is restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu to request permission.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9629, Smithsonian Gardens Oral History Interviews

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Container List

Interviews

Interview 1: October 27, 2011

Interviews

Interview of Paul Lindell discusses his childhood and early influences and training in landscape architecture and horticulture; his career with Richardson Associates and Tetra Tech; his career with the Office of Horticulture/Smithsonian Gardens, including contract negotiations and construction management; as well as personal recollections of colleagues such as James Buckler, Karen Swanson, and Nancy Bechtol, c. 1950s-2011.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-63, of digital audio recording, 2:10:05 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recording of Interview: Total recording time: 2:10:05 hours

Interviews
Original Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Preservation Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Reference Copy: 1 digital audio .mp3 file

Interview 2: November 3, 2011

Interviews

Interview of Barbara Faust covers her training in horticulture; her early work for the Office of Horticulture's Interior Plant Services and Greenhouse Nursery Operations; balancing work and family life; the perceptions and development of the Smithsonian Gardens as a department and as a branch of the Smithsonian Institution; her experiences as a manager; and reminiscences of colleagues, including Lauranne Nash, James Buckler, Jack Monday, and Nancy Bechtol, c. 1960s-2011.

Interviews

Transcript, pp. 1-45, of digital audio recording, 1:54:23 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recording of Interview: Total recording time: 1:54:23 hours

Interviews
Original Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Preservation Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Reference Copy: 1 digital audio .mp3 file

Interview 3: November 17, 2011

Interviews

Interview of Jack Monday discusses horticulture and gardening; the development of the Office of Horticulture; the Victorian Garden outside the Smithsonian Institution Building; the Professional Grounds Management Association; and reminiscences of colleagues, including James Buckler, Lauranne Nash, Barbara Faust, and Andy Dietz, c. 1940s- 1980s.

Interviews

No transcript available of digital audio recording, 2:00:42 hours.

Interviews

Audio Recording of Interview: Total recording time: 2:00:42 hours

Interviews
Original Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Preservation Master: 1 digital audio .wav file
Reference Copy: 1 digital audio .mp3 file