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Office of Communications records

 Record Group
Identifier: AC-03

Scope and Content Note

The records consist of Sally Riggs’ files while she was Director of Communications at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1990-1994.

There are conference, seminar and meeting materials, correspondence, memoranda and notes, magazine and newspaper clippings, congressional statements, reprints, papers, and audiocassette tape transcriptions. The records contain information on two areas where WHOI has been involved in a public and controversial topic: deep ocean isolation of waste, and radioactive waste disposal in the ocean. There are also files on two congressional seminars, which includes a trip report edited by Charles D. Hollister, about a US delegation’s trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, on September 20-25, 1992 (folder 11). Lastly, there are files relating to WHOI’s Oral History Colloquy, which Director Craig Dorman initiated and the Communications Office organized. The Colloquy files contain two copies of the tape transcriptions, and participants’ lists and correspondence, including information on Roger Revelle who died July 15, 1991, on the eve of the History Colloquy (folder 12).


  • 1951-2005

Language of Materials

The records are in



Restricted: materials may only be viewed by the Office of Origin or with permission of the Archivist.


Copyright: Permission to publish material from the collection must be authorized by the Institution Archivist.

Historical Information

The Office of Communications was created in 1990, and Sally K. Riggs became the first and only Director from August 1, 1990 to December 1993. Her responsibilities included overseeing the Public Information Office, Institution publications including Oceanus, media relations, the Exhibit Center, general public relations, and some aspects of the Institution’s governmental relations program. She was part of WHOI’s reorganization scheme started in the summer of 1990 by WHOI director, Craig Dorman, designed to create a better flow of information between WHOI and Falmouth. Hierarchically, the Communications Department came under the Associate Director for External Affairs ( Charles Hollister), and handled the "non-fund-raising, external affairs area", with the Development Office as the fund-raising arm.

Sallie Riggs and her assistant, Gail McPhee, hosted various people and groups, including congressional staff. She also worked with Development, Education, and Industrial and International Programs to support the Institution’s activities. She said "communications is at the heart of WHOI’s efforts to attract support, students, and new staff see my role as coordination and supporting the staff that has helped advance WHOI’s reputation and as providing new directions where appropriate." ( Ocean Views, fall 1990) The Communications Office closed in December 1993 due to a change in funding allocation.


15 box(es) (15.5 linear feet)


The records consist of Sally Riggs’ files while she was Director of Communications at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1990-1994.

Custodial History

The records were kept by Sallie Riggs prior to their transfer to the WHOI Archives.

Acquisitions Information

The Archives received the materials from Sallie Riggs and Gail McPhee in three accessions, on January 26, 1994, at an unspecified date sometime between 1993 and 1995, and on December 11, 1994. Material in acc2006-02 was received from Vicky Cullen on January 8, 2006. Two other accessions were received in May and June, 2014: acc2014-10 and acc2014-12. Material in the Biographical Files series is from these two accessions. Material in the Down to the Sea for Science series was received on August 6, 2014 as acc2014-16.

Related Material

There is related Colloquy information in the Director’s files, Craig Dorman (box 94).

Separated Material

There are no known separated materials.

Processing Information

Materials were put into acid-free folders and boxes; metal paper-clips were removed.

A Guide to the Office of Communications records, 1951-2005
Margot Brown Garritt
November 1996
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Data Library and Archives Repository