SIA RU009636, Smithsonian Institution, African American Contributions to the Smithsonian Oral History Interviews, 2015-2016

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


To celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in September of 2016, the Institutional History program of Smithsonian Institution Archives conducted a series of oral history interviews with African Americans who made significant contributions to the Smithsonian over their careers. Michael R. Barnes (1956- ) was born March 4th, 1956 in Washington, D.C. He began his career at the Smithsonian in the Duplicating Branch of the Office of Printing and Printing Services. He has been working as a photographer for the Smithsonian since 2009. He is best known for his photography of the building of the NMAAHC, as well as of the Million Man March and the presidential inaugurations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Jeannine Smith Clark (1928- ) was born on October 5, 1928 in Washington, D.C. She received her BA and MA in African Studies from Howard University. She began her work with the Smithsonian in 1968 as a volunteer docent. She chaired the volunteer program of the Smithsonian Women's Committee in the late 1970's and early 1980's. In 1983 she was appointed to the Board of Regents, where she became the first chairwomen of the Cultural Education Committee in 1986. She is now an Emeritus Regent. Shireen Dodson (1951- ) was born July 2, 1951 in New Jersey and moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1970's. She received her BS from Morgan State University and her juris doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. At the Smithsonian, she worked as the Assistant Director of the Accounting and Financial Services Office, SI Comptroller and with the African American Museum Project. She is now at the United States State Department. Shirley Ann Jackson (1946- ) grew up in Washington, D.C., before attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology for her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in theoretical physics and particle physics. After a career at Bell Labs, Rutgers University and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she was named president of Renssalear Polytechnic Institute in 1999. She served on the Smithsonian Board of Regents from 2005 to 2017.


  • Clark, Jeannine Smith 1928-
  • Dodson, Shireen
  • Barnes, Michael R
  • Jackson, Shirley Ann 1946-
  • Henson, Pamela M
  • Thompson, Herman
  • Hurlbert, Donald E
  • Sayah, Olivia
  • Ripley, S. Dillon (Sidney Dillon) 1913-2001
  • Smithsonian Institution Employees
  • Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of Printing and Photographic Services
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of Accounting and Financial Services
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities National African American Museum Project


Electronic List in accession file.


This collection is comprised of 5 interview sessions, totaling approximately 8.5 hours of recordings. There are 18 original audio .wav files for this session. In total, this collection is comprised of 11 original digital audio files, 7 original digital video files, 13 digital .mp3 reference files, and 3 transcript files

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 2015
  • 2015-2016

Restrictions & Rights

These interviews are restricted. For the Clark interview, the recording may not be reproduced until 2021; the Dodson interview may not be used without permission until 2050; the Barnes interviews are restricted pending transcript review; the Jackson interview recording cannot be used without permission, Transferring office; Contact reference staff for details


  • Women
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • History
  • Oral histories
  • African Americans
  • Museums--Employees
  • African Americans--History
  • Interviews
  • Oral history


  • Transcripts
  • Collection descriptions
  • Compact discs
  • Electronic images
  • Digital images
  • Electronic records
  • Sound recordings

Local number

SIA RU009636

Full Record

View Full Record