This collection was created by combining two separate accessions of biographical information on and photographs of entomologists.
Series 1 consists mostly of biographical materials on dipterists (entomologists who specialize in the study of flies) but also includes information about other entomologists
and scientists in general. The material, which dates between 1797 and 1988, includes obituaries, magazine and newspaper articles, correspondence, bibliographies, photographs,
handwriting samples, book reviews, and biographical sketches. Especially rich are the files on William H. Ashmead, Walther Horn, S. Dillon Ripley, and Alan Stone. Information
on a number of entomological societies such as the Cambridge Entomological Club, the Entomological Society of America, and the Royal Entomological Society of London is also
included. The series also includes a small number of group photographs and one folder of handwriting samples. The handwriting samples and other correspondence were assembled
by Curtis W. Sabrosky and later culled from his papers as well as the papers of John M. Aldrich, Axel L. Melander, and Alan Stone.
Series 2 consists primarily of photographs of entomologists taken between 1873 and 1950. The photographs were for the most part collected by Eugene Amandus Schwarz and
Herbert Spencer Barber, United States Department of Agriculture entomologists associated with the United States National Museum. Included are formal portraits, casual shots,
photographs taken during field work, and group photographs. The series also contains photographs of field work sites from around the world, and a few postcards.
The Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for the identification of insect specimens. Its work provides
basic support for biological control projects, environmental studies, and research activities of federal and state agencies and other organizations. SEL scientists are also
active in research focused upon insect groups of economic importance to American agriculture. SEL maintains offices at the National Museum of Natural History and at the Beltsville
Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland.
Taxonomic work in entomology at the USDA was given separate status in 1925 with the creation of the Division of Taxonomic Investigation. Sievert Allen Rohwer was placed
in charge of the division. During its nearly sixty year history, the section responsible for entomological taxonomy at the USDA has undergone numerous administrative reorganizations
and name changes. Over most of these years it has had four titles: Division of Taxonomic Investigation, 1925-1934; Division of Insect Identification, 1934-1952; Insect Identification
and Parasite Introduction Research Branch, 1959-1972; and Systematic Entomology Laboratory, 1972- . USDA entomologists in charge of taxonomic work have included Rohwer, 1925-1927;
Harold Morrison, 1927-1935; Carl Frederick William Muesebeck, 1935-1954; Paul Wilson Oman, 1954-1960; William Henry Anderson, 1960-1966; Reece I. Sailer, 1967-1972; and Richard
H. Foote, 1972-1976.