Annie Sullivan Oral History Interview,
2013

Summary
Collection ID:
SIA.FARU9635
Dates:
2013
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Introduction
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.
In 2013, Sarah J. Shoenfeld, former historian with the Institutional History Division of Smithsonian Institution Archives, interviewed her neighbor, Annie Sullivan, who worked at the National Air and Space Museum for twenty years to document her career and reminiscences of the museum.

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This Annie Sullivan Interview collection is comprised of 1 interview session, totaling approximately 1:10:11 hours of recordings. There is one original audio .mp3 file for this session. In total, this collection is comprised of 1 original digital audio .mp3 file and one reference digital audio .mp3 file.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Ms. Sullivan moved to Washington, D.C., from Greenville, South Carolina, in 1985 and was able to get the job through someone her sister worked with who knew the higher-ups in building management at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). She also was able to provide some well-known names, including that of Marion Barry's secretary, as references. She was hired as soon as President Ronald Reagan lifted the order that the Smithsonian hire only veterans for certain jobs. Sullivan worked at NASM from 1986-2006 on the cleaning staff, starting out cleaning offices in the basement and later moving up to the main exhibits floor. She recalled that everyone who worked in that division was African American.
Ms. Sullivan became very close with Deputy Director Donald Lopez during her tenure, and was frequently asked to clean certain offices upstairs where he and the executives worked. She was known as his "designated hugger" for frequently giving him hugs. She was also well-liked by the children of staff members who were sometimes brought to work and occasionally were put in her care. She recalled making lunch for them. She recalled how luxurious it felt to work at NASM in comparison to the jobs she had in the South. The vacuum cleaner worked, there was a break room with a refrigerator, oven and television, among other things. She also recalled several celebrity visitors to NASM, including Michael Jackson, Liza Minelli, John Forsyth, and Tom Cruise, with whom she was photographed shaking hands.

Notes
Oral Histories

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9635, Annie Sullivan Oral History Interview

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sullivan, Annie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lopez, Donald S., 1923-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jackson, Michael, 1958-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Minnelli, Liza Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Forsyth, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cruise, Tom, 1962- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shoenfeld, Sarah J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Celebrities Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Compact discs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at
osiaref@si.edu