This record unit consists of records of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology, primarily under the chairmanships of George E. Watson and Robert H. Gibbs, Jr., with additional material from the tenures of Philip S. Humphrey, George R. Zug, W. Ronald Heyer, and Richard W. Thorington, Jr. The records include memoranda, correspondence, and subject files relating to committee, council, and professional society meetings; budget; annual reports; computerization; security; building renovations; space planning; collections management; division activities and staffing; international relations; relations with Congress; and information on professional societies and programs of interest to the Department. Subject files of special interest focus on the growing emphasis on computers in the Department, national and international information exchanges, space problems and the establishment of the Museum Support Center at Silver Hill, construction of the Osteo-Prep Laboratory in the east courtyard, appointment of Porter M. Kier as Director of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), and involvement in international research programs in the Caribbean and Brazil.
Philip S. Humphrey, the first Chairman of the Department, served from 1964 to 1968. He was succeeded by George E. Watson, 1968 to 1972; Robert H. Gibbs, Jr., 1972 to 1978; George R. Zug, 1978 to 1983; and W. Ronald Heyer, 1984 to 1987. In September of 1987, Richard W. Thorington, Jr. took the post.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 382, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Chairmen's Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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