Exhibition Records,
circa 1955-1990 and undated
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 363
Creators:
National Museum of Natural History. Office of Exhibits
Dates:
circa 1955-1990 and undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
31.58 cu. ft. (31 record storage boxes) (1 tall document box) (1 folder oversize material)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This record unit contains a variety of records documenting the planning, design, and production of permanent and temporary exhibitions at the NMNH. It also contains smaller amounts of records concerning exhibitions held at the National Museum of History and Technology, National Air and Space Museum, National Collection of Fine Arts, Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, and Arts and Industries Building. A few records documenting office administration are also found.
The records were created by the Office of Exhibits, 1955-1969; the Office of Exhibits Programs, 1969-1973; and the Office of Exhibits, NMNH, 1973-1990. Staff of the Office of Exhibits, NMNH, and its predecessor offices, represented in the records include John E. Anglim, 1956-1972; A. Gilbert Wright, 1963-1970; Dorothy Guthrie, 1965-1970; James A. Mahoney, 1969-1973; William F. Haase, 1969-1983; Harry T. Hart, 1970-1977; Eugene F. Behlen, 1977-1983; and Carl A. Alexander, 1969-1987. Also included are a few records of Lawrence P. O'Reilly, 1984-1990.
The records offer primary documentation of natural history exhibition production at the Smithsonian, and they help to illustrate a period of intense exhibit modernization at the Institution. They include correspondence, memoranda, photographs, blueprints, layouts, scripts, work contracts, schedules, notes, and publications. Of special interest are records documenting the renovation of permanent exhibition halls during the 1960s; efforts to make NMNH exhibits more accessible to the handicapped; the development of the Insect Zoo; planning and preparation of the NMNH Bicentennial Exhibition in the 1970s; activities of the NMNH Exhibits Committee; and professional activities of the staff.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Office of Exhibits in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) was created in 1973 when a reorganization established independent exhibit offices in several Smithsonian museums. Prior to its establishment, natural history exhibitions were the responsibility of the Office of Exhibits, 1955-1969, and the Office of Exhibits Programs, 1969-1973.
Harry T. Hart was appointed Chief of the Office of Exhibits, NMNH, on March 18, 1973. Eugene F. Behlen replaced Hart on May 22, 1977, and he served as Chief until 1983. Carl A. Alexander was Acting Chief during 1983-1984. In 1984, administration of the Office of Exhibits became a duty of the newly established Assistant Director for Exhibits. Lawrence P. O'Reilly was appointed to the position.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 363, National Museum of Natural History. Office of Exhibits, Exhibition Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Anglim, John E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, A. Gilbert (Arthur Gilbert), 1909-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guthrie, Dorothy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mahoney, James A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haase, William F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hart, Harry T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Behlen, Eugene F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alexander, Carl A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Reilly, Laurence P. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Office of Exhibits Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of History and Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts and Industries Building (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O. Orkin Insect Zoo Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Exhibits Committee Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Natural history museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Floor plans Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brochures Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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