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 student on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Curtis W. Sabrosky was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his long and distinguished career as Research Entomologist, and because of his memories of work and colleagues in the National Museum of Natural History.
The Sabrosky interviews were conducted by Pamela M. Henson, historian, Smithsonian Institution Archives, in March of 1988. The interviews cover his education; career at the USDA; work with the National Entomological Collection maintained by the NMNH; interests in issues of taxonomic nomenclature, development of International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (the Code), especially his work with the ICZN; work with the Entomological Society of America (ESA); and reminiscences of colleagues, notably J. Chester Bradley, Roland W. Brown, J. F. Gates Clarke, and Carl F. W. Muesebeck. This collection is comprised of three interview sessions, totaling 5.0 hours and 217 pages of transcript.
Curtis W. Sabrosky (1910-1997), was born on April 3, 1910, in Sturgis, Michigan, and became an Entomologist specializing in Diptera. He received the A.B. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 1931, the M.S. in zoology from Kansas State College (KSC), later Kansas State University, in 1933, and the Sc.D. from Kalamazoo College in 1966. From 1936 to 1944, he taught at Michigan State College (MSC), and served in the Public Health Service during World War II. In 1946, he joined the staff of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), first with the Bureau of Entomology and later with its Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) as a Research Entomologist, and serving as Research Director from 1967 to 1973. From 1980 to 1988, he was a Cooperating Scientist at SEL, as well as a Research Associate of the Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). A specialist on issues of taxonomic nomenclature, from 1963 to 1985, he served as a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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