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 N. Perrot interviews were conducted as part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives Oral History Program because of his role as Assistant Secretary for Museums at the Smithsonian from 1972 to 1983.
The Paul N. Perrot Interviews were conducted during five sessions in 2004 and 2009-2011 by Smithsonian Archives Historian Pamela M. Henson. This collection consists of five interview sessions, totaling approximately 14.5 hours of recordings, 314 pages of transcript, and occupies 0.5 cubic feet of shelf space. There are two generations of recordings for the first session: original audiotapes and reference audiocassette tapes. Sessions 2 to 5 were recorded in digital audio, with digital .wav and reference .mp3 audio files. In total, this collection is comprised of 5 original 7" reel-to-reel audiotapes, 3 reference copy audio cassette tapes, 9 digital .wav files, and 9 digital .mp3 files. The original audiotapes and .wav files are reserved in preservation storage. Box 1 contains transcripts of the interviews and cassette and digital copies of the original recordings.
Additional documentation pertaining to Paul N. Perrot can be found in the Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Museums and the Paul N. Perrot Papers in Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Paul N. Perrot (1926- ) served as the Assistant Secretary for Museums at the Smithsonian from 1972 to 1983. Perrot was on the staff of the Corning Glass Museum from 1952 to 1972, serving as director from 1960 to 1972. After leaving the Smithsonian, Perrot served as director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from 1984 to 1991 and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art from 1991 to 1994. Perrot was very active in the international museum community, especially the International Council of Museums.
These interviews of Paul Perrot cover his youth in war-torn France, immigration to the United States, early career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, years at the Corning Museum of Glass, and his tenure as Assistant Secretary for Museum Programs at the Smithsonian.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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