John FlecknerArchivist, 1982–Present

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John Fleckner became Chief Archivist at the National Museum of American History in late 1982 and began to work with Cynthia Hoover on Steinway Collection matters soon thereafter.

In 1985 they spent two days in New York surveying a fantastic accumulation of historical materials in Henry Z. Steinway’s office at Steinway Hall. From 1985 to 1988 Fleckner and Hoover, along with other staff members, negotiated with the Steinway family to borrow and microfilm Steinway Company records and family correspondence. In 1996, at a joyous formal presentation ceremony, Fleckner signed the deed accepting the William Steinway diary donation on behalf of the Museum. In 2004 he formally joined the Steering Committee of the Steinway Diary Editorial Project, serving until his retirement from full-time work at the Museum in 2007. During that time, Fleckner had the pleasure of working with wonderful colleagues on the Diary Project to develop fund raising proposals and project management plans, recruit and hire Project staff, and digitize the manuscript volumes of the diaries. 

Since 2007, he has continued as a part-time staff member in the Archives Center where his primary duties have been teaching an introduction to archives for George Washington University’s Museum Studies Department under the long-standing GWU-SI cooperative agreement. Fleckner has followed the progress of the Diary Project with great interest and applauds everyone associated with it for this landmark achievement.