The Oral History Program is part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The purpose of the program is to conduct 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 Paul L. Illg interview was accessioned into the Oral History Collection to capture his reminiscences of the staff of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History, especially Waldo LaSalle Schmitt, Fenner A. Chace, and Theodore Bayer.
The Paul Louis Illg Interview was conducted on March 23, 1978 by Smithsonian Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. The interview discusses his years at the Smithsonian and reminiscences of the staff. The collection consist of approximately 1.0 hour of audiotape and 38 pages of transcript.
Paul Louis Illg (1914-1998) received his B.A. in 1936 and M.A. in 1941 from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his Ph.D. program at Berkeley but his studies were interrupted by World War II. After completing his wartime service, Illg was appointed Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology in the National Museum of Natural History from 1947 to 1952, while completing his Ph.D. at The George Washington University in 1952. Illg spent the remainder of his career at the University of Washington teaching zoology, as Assistant Professor in 1952, then Associate Professor, and Professor from 1969 to 1982. He specialized in the systematics and evolution of Crustacea, conducting field work from the Friday Harbor Laboratories. Illg published prodigiously for more than fifty years on parasitic copepods, particularly those living in ascidians. His research on microscopic ascidicolous copepods greatly extended biological and taxonomic knowledge, and illuminated evolutionary processes in these extremely complex parasitic crustaceans.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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