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Guide to Oral Histories in Medicine and the Health Sciences


Smithsonian Institution Archives


Mailing: P.O. Box 37012
MRC 507
Washington, D. C. 20013-7012

Street Address
Capital Gallery, Room 3001
400 Maryland Avenues, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20560-0507


(202) 633-5870

Fax number

(202) 633-5928

Website URL

Contact Person

Pamela M. Henson
Director, Institutional History Division
(202) 633-5907


Access and Services

Researchers may read transcripts, listen to audio tapes and view videotapes in our reading room. Subject to restrictions, collections may be reproduced for researchers. We do not distribute collections via interlibrary loan.


Oral History Collection documents the history of the Smithsonian, especially the careers of its research staff. Smithsonian Video History Collection documents the history of American science and technology.


Total Smithsonian Oral History Collection and Smithsonian Video history Collection is 751 interviews of 652 individuals, totaling 994.5 hours of tape and 1707 original tapes occupying 110.5 cubic feet. 3-5 new collections are being added per year.

Collection Description

Collection Description:
Record Unit 9544, History of Medical Imaging Video history
Record Unit 9549, History of DNA Sequencing Video history
Record Unit 9551, Soviet Space Medicine Video history
Record Unit 9554, History of the Cell Sorter Video history
Record Unit 9564, History of Small Pox Virus Sequencing Video history
Record Unit 9577, History of Polymerase Chain Reaction Video history
Record Unit 9593, Acuson Ultrasound Machines Video history
Record Unit 9599, Graham Bell Fairchild Interview (medical entomology)
Record Unit 9568, Theodore H. Reed Interviews (veterinary medicine)
Record Unit 9533, Conservation of Endangered Species Video history (veterinary medicine)


Material Type

Collection contains both audio and video, in analog and digital format.


Some collections are restricted. Contact the reference archivist for details.


Most collections are transcribed. All of the history of medicine interviews are transcribed. They are NOT available on the web.