Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 378
Creators:
Anacostia Museum. Exhibits Department
Dates:
1967-1984, 1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
14 cu. ft. (14 record storage boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This record unit documents the administration of the Exhibits Design and Production Laboratory for approximately first ten years of operation, and describes the mission, philosophy, planning, and construction of the facility. The records contain planning materials for many of the museum's early exhibitions, which reflect the involvement of community organizations as well as museum professionals. The materials also document the Exhibits Training Program in some detail.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The exhibits program of the museum began in December 1967 when the Director appointed Larry Erskine Thomas as Research and Design Coordinator. After the program was divided into the Exhibit Branch and the Anacostia Studies Branch in January 1969, the two branches together were designated the Research and Design Department, and Thomas became Supervisory Program Manager. In 1974 construction began on the Exhibits Design and Production Laboratory, also known as the Exhibits Center, and it was occupied by the Exhibit Branch in October of that year. At the same time, Charles W. Mickens took charge of the Exhibit Branch and the Laboratory as Exhibits Program Manager.
In 1975 the two branches of the Research and Design Department were administratively separated, and two new subdivisions of the Exhibit Branch were formed: Design and Installation, supervised by Larry Thomas, and Exhibit Production, managed by James E. Mayo. Mickens was made responsible to the Director for the entire branch, and under his supervision the Laboratory became fully operational in October 1975. By 1982, the branch was called the Exhibits Department. Mickens retired as Exhibits Program Manager in 1977, and the position was left vacant until the appointment of Victor Govier in 1979. After Govier's departure in May 1984, the position remained vacant through 1987.
An Exhibits Training Program was implemented with a group of eleven students in September 1976. The program was originally intended to play a central role in the function of the Laboratory, with the goal of increasing the representation of minorities in the museum professions. After the training of the first class of students was completed, however, the program was discontinued in May 1978.
Charles W. Mickens managed the Exhibits Training Program as part of his duties until Ronald Wildy was hired as Training Coordinator in November 1976. Wildy resigned in January 1977, and James Mayo supervised the program until John Bradshaw was hired as Training Officer in April of that year. Bradshaw remained in the position until the program was terminated.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 378, Anacostia Museum. Exhibits Department, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Thomas, Larry Erskine Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mickens, Charles W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayo, James E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Govier, Victor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wildy, Ronald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bradshaw, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Exhibits Department Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Exhibits Design and Production Laboratory Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Exhibits Training Program Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Research and Design Department Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Anacostia Studies Branch Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Exhibit Branch Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Historical museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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