New York Zoological Society. Education Department records
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of materials created by the Education Department from 1967 to 1980 including correspondence and educational activities and programs. Files related to the Children’s Zoo and Friends of the Zoo (FOZ) volunteer program are also featured in this collection.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1968-1980 Contains correspondence, memos, and messages sent and received by Curators Annette Berkovits, Herbert J. Knobloch, Richard Lattis, James W. Waddick, and their Assistant Curators.
Series 2.A Subject Files, 1967-1975 Consists of subject files collected and filed while Knobloch and Waddick were Curators. Among the various subjects covered are docent training courses for adults, summer courses for children, volunteer training, and the New York Department of Education District #8 and #10 Live Science Programs.
Series 2.B Subject Files, 1976 Contains of subject files collected and filed while Waddick was Curator. This subseries includes material pertaining to programs in the department, notably participation in the Museum Collaborative and a joint project proposal with the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).
Series 2.C Subject Files, 1977 Consists of files regarding various subject files, including material about the Children’s Zoo, City in the Forest joint program with NYBG, and Man: A Course of Study special seminar.
Series 2.D Subject Files, 1978 Contains material filed while Lattis was Curator. Some Friends of the Zoo files are located in this subseries along with records of Wild Asia Theatre performances and other departmental operations and research material.
Series 2.E, Subject Files, 1979 Contains department files from when Lattis was Curator. Some Friends of the Zoo files can be found in this series along with material relating to the Helena Rubenstein Foundation Internship, Education Department internships, and the Windows on Wildlife program.
Series 2.F Subject Files, 1980 Consists of material collected and filed while Lattis was Curator. Files regarding the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Children’s Zoo, National Science Foundation proposals, and department development are included in this subseries. Some Friends of the Zoo materials can also be found in this subseries.
Series 2.E Friends of the Zoo, 1971-1980 Contains materials from throughout the 1970s related to the FOZ Program at both Bronx and Central Park Zoos.
- 1967 - 1982
- Berkovits, Annette Libeskind (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
The Department of Education at NYZS was established in October 1929. During the period of time in this collection, the department increased its outreach and developed several significant educational programs. Windows on Wildlife, Animal Kingdom Zoo Camp, and the NY Department of Education Live Science Program (facilitated by NYZS in District #8 and #10) were several of the well-received courses and programs started during the 1960s and 1970s. Proposal and development for a redesign of the Children’s Zoo occurred throughout the 1970s before it opened in May 1981. The Friends of the Zoo volunteer program became integrated with the Education department in 1971. Summer courses for children started to be offered in 1977.
Herbert J. Knobloch became the Head of the Department of Education in 1947 until the mid-1970s when he became the Curator of Audio Visual Services. Under his direction, the Department of Education increased its outreach to public schools, and Knobloch oversaw production of NYZS motion pictures. Knobloch developed the animal lecturer program to take tame animals on visits to schools and institutions for lectures, and he oversaw an urban grant project in 1969 to use interest in animals to motivate students in other subjects.
James W. Waddick came to NYZS as Assistant Curator in the Department of Education in 1971 and served as Curator from 1974-1976.
Richard Lattis started at NYZS in 1974 and served as curator from 1978-1981 before becoming the Chairman of Education until 1986. Among his accomplishments as Curator of Education were a complete redesign of the Bronx Zoo’s Children’s Zoo and a concomitant expansion of the Friends of the Zoo program; one of the innovations of the new Children’s Zoo was the fact that it was staffed completely by volunteer docents.
Annette Berkovits joined NYZS as an instructor in 1972 and eventually became a Curator of Education in 1983. In 1988 Berkovits was appointed the Chair of Education for all NYZS parks. She developed the Windows on Wildlife and Close-Up on Animals for Exceptional Children education programs and was the director of the Animal Kingdom Zoo Camp. She held the position of Vice President of Conservation Education from 1994 until she left WCS.
17.93 linear feet (43 Hollinger boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection consists of materials created by the Education Department from 1967 to 1980, including correspondence and educational activities and programs. Files related to the redesign of the Children’s Zoo and Friends of the Zoo (FOZ) volunteer program are also featured in this collection.
Series 1: Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, subject, or type.
Series 2: Subject Files is arranged alphabetically within each subseries.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Guide to the New York Zoological Society Education Department Records, circa 1967-1982.
- Sana Masood
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Collection processing and finding aid creation for this collection was made possible through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission Access to Historical Records grant program.