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.
Smith was interviewed for the Smithsonian Institution Archives Oral History Collection because of her service as a librarian and administrator with Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
This interview of Smith was conducted by University of Maryland student Linda Zindt in 1986 and covers her education, career at SIL, and her role as an administrator. The collection consists of 1.0 hour of audiotape recording, and 27 pages of transcript. In total, this collection includes 1 original audiotape cassette, 1 preservation 5" reel-to-reel audiotape, and 1 reference copy audiotape cassette.
Jean Chandler Smith (1918-1999), librarian and bibliographer, received the A.B. from Bryn Mawr College in 1939, the M.S. from Yale University in 1953, and the M.L.S. from The Catholic University of America in 1973. She began her career as a reference librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library from 1939 to 1943. During the latter part of World War II, she worked as a translator in Panama and as a librarian in Hawaii. In 1944, she joined the staff of Yale University as a Librarian and Research Associate. In 1959, she accepted a position as Acting Chief of Acquisitions at the National Institutes of Health Library and moved to the Department of the Interior in 1963. She joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL) in 1965. She served as Acting Director in 1972 and from 1977 to 1979. After her retirement in 1981, she continued her research as an SIL Research Associate.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9588, Smith, Jean Chandler. interviewee, Jean Chandler Smith Interview
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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