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 reminiscences and interviews recorded by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
The National Zoological Park Easter Monday Oral History Interviews were recorded by the Smithsonian History Division to document this cultural tradition in Washington, D.C.
On 21 April 2003, Pamela M. Henson, of the Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, and Jeffrey Hyson, assistant professor at St. Joseph's College, conducted interviews with twelve zoo visitors on Easter Monday about their families' Easter Monday traditions and reminiscences of past Easter Monday visits to the National Zoo. Interviewees were Justine Love, Tyrone Parker, Donald Isaac, Clarence Miles, Antoinette Archie, Delois Jackson, Joyce Madyun, Benet Durant, John Matthews, Marie Reardon Dudley, Harold Flood, and Lorraine Miller.
This collection contains twelve interview sessions, totaling approximately 6 hours of recording. There are two generations of tape for each session: original audiotape cassettes and reference audiotape cassettes. In total, this collection is comprised of 12 original audiotape cassettes and 12 reference copy audiotape cassettes. The original tapes are reserved in preservation storage. The interviews have not been transcribed.