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Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 9626

Sea-Level Canal Oral History Interviews, 2010

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Title: Sea-Level Canal Oral History Interviews
Dates: 2010
Quantity: 0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Collection: Record Unit 9626
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

As part of a research project on the history of the Sea-Level Canal Project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Christine Keiner, Research Associate, Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, interviewed researchers involved in the STRI study of the proposed sea-level canal.

Historical Note

Interviewers discussed STRI staff roles in preparing a report that was not supportive of building a sea-level canal because of potential environmental damage. Interviewees included Ira Rubinoff, director emeritus of STRI; Harilaos A. Lessios, STRI senior staff scientist in evolution, ecology, and marine biology; Stanley Heckadon-Moreno, STRI staff scientist emeritus in anthropology, sociology, and history of natural history; Egbert Giles Leigh, Jr., STRI staff scientist emeritus in evolution and ecology; Mark E. Torchin, STRI staff scientist in marine ecology, disease and parasite ecology; Hector M. Guzman, STRI staff scientist in marine biology; Rachel Collin, STRI staff scientist and director of the Bocas del Toro Research Station studying evolution and marine biology; and a recording of howler monkey sounds on Barro Colorado Island.

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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.

Christine Keiner, Research Associate, Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology, conducted oral history interviews in 2010 and 2012 about the Smithsonian's role in evaluating plans for a sea-level canal in Meso-America in the 1970s, especially the contributions of staff at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.

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Descriptive Entry

The Sea-Level Canal Interviews consist of nine recording sessions totaling 13:26:01 hours of interview in 11 original digital audio files, 11 digital .mp3 reference files, and no transcripts are available.

Restrictions: Some of the interviews are restricted so researchers must contact Smithsonian Institution Archives in advance to secure permission to use the interviews.

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Use Restriction

Restricted. Contact reference staff for details.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9626, Sea-Level Canal Oral History Interviews

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Container List

Box 1

Audio Recording of Interview

Interview 1: 16 September 2010 Interview of Ira Rubinoff

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:24:34 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .wav file
Reference Copy: 1 digital audio .mp3 file.

Interview 2: 3 August 2012 Interview of Harilaos A. Lessios

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:19:03 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file

Interview 3: 7 August 2012 Interview of Ira Rubinoff

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:41:49 hours
Original Masters: 2 digital audio stereo .mp3 files

Interview 4: 8 August 2012 Interview of Stanley Heckadon Moreno

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 03:34:51 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file

Interview 5: 10 August 2012 Interview of Egbert Giles Leigh, Jr.

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:42:58 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file

Interview 6: 14 August 2012 Interview of Mark E. Torchin

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 00:54:43 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file

Recording 7: 21 August 2012 Recording of howler monkeys in the morning on Barro Colorado Island

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 00:02:11 hours
Original Masters: 2 digital audio stereo .mp3 files

Interview 8: 21 August 2012 Interview of Hector M. Guzman

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:06:05 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file

Interview 2: 22 August 2012 Interview of Rachel Collin

Box 1 of 1
Total recording time: 01:45:47 hours
Original Master: 1 digital audio stereo .mp3 file