Desert Museum Vignettes - An Introduction — 'The Desert Museum is devoted to life, to the interpretation of living forms, to the conservation of life.' — William H. Carr  — The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) values its history and has demonstrated this through a long term commitment to conducting oral interviews to chronicle ASDM history.

Tucson Mountain House
Tucson Mountain House
Bill Carr and Bill Woodin
Bill Carr & Bill Woodin
Arthur Pack and Bill Carr
Arthur Pack & Bill Carr in the early 60s

Initiated by William ‘Bill’ H. Carr, museum co-founder and first director, interviews were first taped by Francis Colley in 1971. This tradition continued under the sponsorship of the Weatherhead Foundation in 1976 with additional interviews conducted by Margaret Gerow. This interview tradition was reinforced by Peggy Larson, ASDM Archivist and Librarian, in preparation for the fiftieth anniversary of the museum in 2002. The tradition continues today with interviews and transcriptions by Peggy Larson and Anne. C. Warner.

To date, over seventy-five interviews have been conducted of museum board members, sponsors, volunteers, and staff. The intent is to capture the memories of those whose lives have had an impact on and been impacted by their affiliation with ASDM, whether it be the voices of founders or those of early student workers who went from laying out museum foot paths to teaching conservation students of their own — or perhaps those of long time members who understand the importance of supporting an institution with a mission unique to the Sonoran Desert region.

ASDM hopes that viewers will learn more about the Desert Museum as an institution through this series of vignettes which contains ‘snapshots’ of Oral History interviewees. The vignettes are intended to capture the memories of ‘contributors’ and also the visions of these ‘contributors’ as the museum looks towards its 100th anniversary.

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For further information about ASDM's Oral History Project, contact Peggy Larson at plarson@desertmuseum.org.