Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr.'s papers include personal material concerning awards and his investigation of Christian Science; material on mammalogical research including
extensive correspondence with Michael Rogers Oldfield Thomas of the British Museum; and material on Miller's research with primates, especially the Piltdown Man and primate
Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr., (1869-1956) was born in Peterboro, New York, and grew up on a large estate in central New York. In this relatively isolated setting and through
the influence of his great uncle, an ornithologist, Miller developed an early interest in natural history. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1894, Miller joined the
Biological Survey in the Department of Agriculture and worked under Clinton Hart Merriam. In 1898 he joined the United States National Museum as Assistant Curator of Mammals
and in 1909 became Curator of that Division. He continued in that position until 1940 when he retired and remained as an Associate in biology at the Smithsonian Institution
until his death.
Miller's major contributions to mammalogy were his series of checklists of North American mammals, 1901, 1912, and 1924; The Families and Genera of Bats, 1907; and
the Catalogue of the Mammals of Western Europe in the Collection of the British Museum, 1912. He also was an early critic of the claimed discovery of the Piltdown Man
in England. He published several papers on the controversy and corresponded with many of the principal investigators. Another of his fields of interest was primate behavioral
patterns and their possible influence on the beginnings of human social development.