Sidney Dillon Ripley Interviews,
1977-1993

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 9591
Creators:
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001 interviewee
Dates:
1977-1993
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
48 audiotapes (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.
S. Dillon Ripley was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his role as an ornithologist and as the eighth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 to 1984.

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
Ripley was interviewed by Pamela M. Henson from 1977 to 1993 at his offices at the Smithsonian and at his home in Litchfield, Connecticut. These interviews cover his youth, early interests in natural history, education, career on the faculty at Yale, field work and expeditions, tenure as Secretary of the Smithsonian, involvement in international conservation efforts, and reminiscences of individuals, including Salim Ali, August Heckscher, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, and Ralph Rinzler. The collection consists of 38.5 hours of audiotape recording, circa 831 pages of transcript, and occupies 1.0 linear feet of shelf space. In total, this collection includes 35 original 5" reel-to-reel audiotapes, 18 original 7" reel-to-reel audiotapes, 18 preservation 7" reel-to-reel audiotapes, and 48 reference audiotape cassettes.
Restrictions: The recordings and transcripts of the S. Dillon Ripley Interviews cannot be used without the permission of his executor.

Historical Note
Historical Note
S. Dillon Ripley (1913-2001), ornithologist and eighth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, developed an interest in natural history in his youth. He received the B.A. from Harvard University in 1936 and the Ph.D. from Yale University in 1943. He served briefly as a curator of birds at the National Museum of Natural History before joining the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. From 1946 to 1963, he was on the faculty of Yale University and served as Director of their Peabody Museum from 1959 to 1963. In 1964, he was appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian. During his twenty year tenure as Secretary, he oversaw the development of the Anacostia Museum, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Festival of American Folklife, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, Renwick Gallery, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and Smithsonian magazine. Ripley was also involved in numerous conservation organizations, including the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, International Council for Bird Preservation, and International Union for the Conservation of Nature. His interests in international affairs also led him to play a role in the foundation of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Notes
Oral Histories

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9591, Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001 interviewee, Sidney Dillon Ripley Interviews
Use Restriction
Restricted.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ali, Slim, 1896-1987. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirshhorn, Joseph H. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hutchinson, G. Evelyn. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rinzler, Ralph. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heckscher, August, 1913-1997 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Museum Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Museum Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.). Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of African Art (U.S.) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Renwick Gallery Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sackler Gallery of Art. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Associates. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Charles Darwin Foundation Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Council for Bird Preservation Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yale University Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harvard University Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peabody Museum of Natural History Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Institution) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Magazine Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Festival of American Folklife Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ornithology. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conservation of natural resources Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Folklife studies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Natural history Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum techniques Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henson, Pamela M. Name 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