Richard S. Cowan Interviews,
1974

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 9501
Creators:
Cowan, Richard S., 1921-1997 interviewee
Dates:
1974
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4 audiotapes (reference copies). 4 digital .mp3 files (reference copies).
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Introduction
Introduction
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Cowan was interviewed for the Oral History Project because he has made significant scholarly and administrative contributions to the Smithsonian Institution during 17 years of service.

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
Cowan was interviewed by Miriam Freilicher on March 26 and April 2 and 25, 1974. The interviews include his reminiscences of his early career, the Department of Botany when he joined the staff, his work in administration, and changes within the National Museum of Natural History and the Institution in the 1960's.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Richard Sumner Cowan began his career in 1948 at the New York Botanical Garden and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1952. Cowan joined the staff of the National Museum of Natural History in 1957 as an Associate Curator in the Department of Botany, where he continued his work in the systematic taxonomy of neotropical flora. In 1962 Cowan was appointed Assistant Director of the Museum of Natural History, and in 1965 he assumed the directorship of the museum. He has continued his work as Senior Botanist, National Museum of Natural History, since his retirement from administration in 1973. Cowan has served on many significant committees in the Institution and in many professional societies.

Notes
Oral Histories

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9501, Cowan, Richard S., 1921-1997 interviewee, Richard S. Cowan Interviews

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Cowan, Richard S., 1921-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Freilicher, Miriam S. interviewer Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Botany Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Assistant Director Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Office of the Director Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Botanical Garden Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Botany Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum curators -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum directors -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Botanists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Audiotapes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oral history Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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