These papers consist largely of Schaus' professional correspondence with his peers and with amateurs, mostly in his capacity as Honorary Curator. They also include
fragmentary research notes, correspondence, catalogs, and news clippings relating to acquisition of the Paul Dognin Collection of Lepidoptera.
William Schaus (1858-1942) was, like many early entomologists, trained for a career he chose not to follow--in Schaus's case, that of an art dealer. Though he studied
art and music in America and abroad in preparation for that career, Schaus came under the influence of Henry Edwards and so turned to entomology. For many years he pursued
his interest privately, traveling extensively in Europe to broaden his knowledge of lepidoptera, the family to which he devoted his attention during most of his life. In 1919
Schaus joined the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture and, in 1921, began a long association with the Smithsonian Institution as an honorary
curator of insects in the National Museum.