Oral history interview with Robert K. Enders,
1976

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 9562
Creators:
Enders, Robert K. (Robert Kendall), 1899-1988 interviewee
Dates:
1976
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2 audiotapes (reference tapes).
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Introduction
Introduction
The Oral History Project is part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The purpose of the project is to conduct and collect 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.
The Robert Kendall Enders interviews were recorded and donated to Smithsonian Institution Archives because of his experiences in Panama during the early development of the research station. Additional information about the Canal Zone Biological Area can be found in the Records Relating to the Canal Zone Biological Area, Office of the Secretary, 1912-1965, and the Canal Zone Biological Area Records, 1918-1964, also housed in the Smithsonian Archives. The Oral History Collection also contains several other sets of interviews on the history of the research station.

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
The Robert K. Enders Interview was conducted by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute research biologist, Neal G. Smith, on 13 April of 1976. He discusses his introduction to Barro Colorado Island; his subsequent research trips there; recollections of fellow scientists and staff on the island; comparisons between the island then and now; and suggestions on how to improve the island for research purposes. Box 1 consists of 2.0 hours of audiotape cassettes, 56 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.07 linear meters of shelf space. The interviews may not be cited, quoted, or reproduced without the permission of the heirs or assigns of Robert K. Enders.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Robert Kendall Enders (1899-1988) was born on September 22, 1899, in Essex, Iowa. After receiving his A.B. and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1925 and 1927 respectively, he became an Assistant Professor of Biology at Union College. In 1928, he became an Assistant Professor at Missouri Valley College, and in 1932 was promoted to full Professor. In 1966, he also became Emeritus Professor of Zoology at Swarthmore College. He retired from Missouri Valley College in 1970.
Enders was encouraged by Harvard biologist Thomas Barbour to visit Barro Colorado Island (BCI). He applied for a National Research Council Fellowship for funding and in 1930 arrived on the island. In 1935 and 1937, he returned, and in 1941, he visited BCI again as a Research Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. While conducting his research in mammalogy on BCI, he observed the development of the research station. As a Professor, he continued his visits to Panama, bringing students to the Canal Zone Biological Area on working field trips.
The Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA) was established in 1923 on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal as a reserve for scientific study of the Tropics. Originally designed as a consortium of universities and government agencies by Thomas Barbour, William Morton Wheeler, James Zetek, and others, CZBA was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1946 and in 1966 was renamed the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

Notes
Oral Histories

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9562, Enders, Robert K. (Robert Kendall), 1899-1988 interviewee, Oral history interview with Robert K. Enders
Use Restriction
Restricted. Contact reference staff for details.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Enders, Robert K. (Robert Kendall), 1899-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chapman, Frank M. (Frank Michler), 1864-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zetek, James, 1886-1959 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Koford, Carl B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barbour, Thomas, 1884-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Neal Griffith, 1937- interviewer Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barro Colorado Island. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Canal Zone Biological Area. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Barro Colorado Island Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Canal Zone Biological Area, Barro Colorado Island Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Canal Zone Biological Area Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mammalogy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tropical biology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama Place 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
Transcripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Compact discs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Electronic records Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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