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Correspondence and Specimen Records

Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Extent:
2.5 cu. ft. (5 document boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Letterpress copybooks
Date:
1882-1918
Descriptive Entry:
These records include receipts for specimens, annual and monthly reports of the Division, and correspondence regarding acquisition, distribution, and loan of specimens.
Historical Note:
The Division of Insects of the United States National Museum, reorganized in 1963 as the Department of Entomology, had its origin in the deposit of personal collections in 1881 by Charles Valentine Riley, entomologist of the Department of Agriculture. The Museum became the depository for the national collection of insects. The chief entomologist of the Department of Agriculture became honorary curator of insects in the national museum, aided by an assistant curator on the museum staff. Many staff members of the Department of Agriculture served as custodians, and thus the national collection of insects has become a joint enterprise of the Department and the Museum. Honorary curators were as follows: Charles Valentine Riley, 1881-1894; Leland Ossian Howard, 1895-1927. Assistant curators (museum employees) were as follows: John Bernhard Smith, 1886-1889; Martin L. Linell (aid), 1889-1896; William Harris Ashmead, 1897-1908; James Chamberlain Crawford, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1908-1919.
Topic:
Entomologists  Search this
Entomology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Letterpress copybooks
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 139, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence and Specimen Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 139
See more items in:
Correspondence and Specimen Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0139

Correspondence

Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Extent:
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Date:
1878-1906
Descriptive Entry:
These records are the official incoming correspondence of the Division of Insects (outgoing correspondence for part of the period is included in record unit 139). Included is correspondence from entomologists and others requesting determinations, loans of specimens, or regarding purchase or gift of specimens for the museum; and correspondence between entomologists regarding determinations or other scientific matters, and publications of findings.

Fairly extensive correspondence exists for the following entomologists: Charles Fuller Baker, Elmer Darwin Ball, William Beutenmuller, Frederick Blanchard, J. Chester Bradley, Frank Hurlburt Chittenden, John Henry Comstock, Charles Dury, Harrison Gray Dyer, Henry Edwards, Ephraim Porter Felt, Charles Henry Fernald, Henry Torsey Fernald, James Fletcher, William Hague Harrison, Charles A. Hart, Samuel Henshaw, William W. Hill, William Jacob Holland, Leland Ossian Howard, Henry Herbert Lyman, Alexander Dyar MacGillivray, James Abram Garfield Rehn, Charles Valentine Riley, Samuel H. Scudder, David Sharp, Henry Skinner, Annie Trumball Slosson, John Bernhard Smith, W. N. Tallant, and Lucien M. Underwood. Important items are indicated by a asterisk. Some letters are filed by the name of the person referred to rather than by correspondent.

Information regarding administration of the Division of Insects is found in the folders of W. V. Cox, R. I. Geare, George Brown Goode. F. W. Hodge, Richard Rathbun, William de C. Ravenel, Charles Valentine Riley, John Bernhard Smith, and Frederick William True. Riley's reports for 1886-1888 are filed under "Reports."
Historical Note:
The Division of Insects of the United States National Museum, reorganized in 1963 as the Department of Entomology, had its origin in the deposit of personal collections in 1881 by Charles Valentine Riley, entomologist of the Department of Agriculture. The Museum became the depository for the national collection of insects. The chief entomologist of the Department of Agriculture became honorary curator of insects in the National Museum, aided by an assistant curator on the museum staff. Many staff members of the Department of Agriculture served as custodians, and thus the national collection of insects has become a joint enterprise of the Department and the Museum. Honorary curators were as follows: Charles Valentine Riley, 1881-1894; Leland Ossian Howard, 1895-1927. Assistant curators (museum employees) were as follows: John Bernhard Smith, 1886-1889; Martin L. Linell (aid), 1889-1896; William Harris Ashmeade, 1897-1908.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Entomologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 138, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
Identifier:
Record Unit 138
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0138

Correspondence

Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Extent:
17 cu. ft. (17 record storage boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Black-and-white photographs
Manuscripts
Date:
1909-1963
Descriptive Entry:
These records comprise the official correspondence of the Department of Entomology. Because a close relationship existed between the Department of Entomology of the National Museum and the Bureau of Entomology of the Agriculture Department, there is considerable correspondence of Agriculture Department staff, notably August Busck and Carl Heinrich. Some papers of John Frederick Gates Clarke predating his tenure at the Smithsonian are also included.

The greater part of the records concern donation or other receipt of specimens in the National Museum; distribution or loan of specimens from the Museum; requests for determination of specimens by other entomologists and the general public (a considerable proportion of the determinations were made for state departments of entomology); and general research questions from the public. The Department corresponded with institutions all over the world, including most major United States and Canadian natural history institutions, state entomology departments, and institutions in Latin America, Great Britain, Continental Europe, Australia, and India.

Less prevalent is correspondence between entomologists concerning their research; correspondence concerning manuscripts submitted for publication in the National Museum series or submitted by Department staff to other journals; applications for research grants, mostly by Departmental staff to outside agencies; occasional copies of itineraries for research trips; and a few manuscripts of articles. Details of administering the Department may be found throughout the records, especially under the following names: W. H. Anderson, John L. Keddy, Arthur Remington Kellogg, Harold Morrison (1928-1934), Carl Frederick William Muesebeck (1936-1950), S. A. Rohwer, and Waldo LaSalle Schmitt.

Some correspondence of individuals is rich, especially correspondence between John Hartley Durrant, August Busck, and Thomas de Grey Walsingham (1909-1919); correspondence of Carl Heinrich (1914-1958); correspondence of the English entomologist Edward Meyrick (1909-1916), correspondence between several staff members and James Halliday McDunnough of the entomology branch of the Canadian government; and correspondence of staff members Ralph E. Crabill and John Frederick Gates Clarke. Subjects of special interest include the cotton pest infestation from Mexico (1918); Edwin A. Chapin's evaluation of manuscripts for The American Midland Naturalist; work of August Busck on the Smithsonian Biological Survey of Panama, 1912 (filed Frederick William True); and Busck's report on the pink Bollworm in Mexico, 1918 (filed Pastor Rouaix); opinion of the Commissioners of the International Zoological Code on Huber's Tentamen, 1806 (1925-1926, filed Charles W. Stiles); and the Smithsonian-Bredin Caribbean Expedition, notes of Carl N. Shuster, 1958 (filed Shuster).

These records are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.
Historical Note:
The Department of Entomology was organized in the United States National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History, in July 1963. Before 1963 it was called the Division of Insects, where it was placed in the Department of Zoology, and earlier, the Department of Biology. Staff of the Department of Entomology and taxonomic entomologists of the Department of Agriculture work very closely together.
Topic:
Entomologists  Search this
Entomology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
Identifier:
Record Unit 140
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0140

Edward Albert Chapin Field Notebooks

Creator::
Chapin, Edward Albert, 1894-  Search this
Extent:
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Field notes
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1937-1947
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of field notebooks from his travels in Cuba, Jamaica, Colombia, and Chile. The typewritten notebooks include journal entries, correspondence, photographs, news clippings, maps and checklists.
Historical Note:
Edward Albert Chapin (1894-1969), a leading authority on beetles, received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1916, a master's degree from Massachusetts State University in 1917 and a Ph.D. in Zoology from George Washington University in 1926. From 1917 to 1920 he worked for the Bureau of Biological Survey. He then worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (from 1920 to 1926 in the Bureau of Animal Industry and from 1926 to 1934 in the Bureau of Entomology). In 1934 he joined the United States National Museum, Division of Insects, and remained there as curator until his retirement in 1954. After moving from Washington, DC, to West Medway, Massachusetts, he became an associate of the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Topic:
Zoology  Search this
Beetles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Field notes
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Black-and-white photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-085, Edward Albert Chapin Field Notebooks
Identifier:
Accession 11-085
See more items in:
Edward Albert Chapin Field Notebooks
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa11-085
Additional Online Media:

Charles Henry Tyler Townsend Papers

Creator::
Townsend, Charles Henry Tyler  Search this
Extent:
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white transparencies
Date:
1920-1940
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of correspondence to and from dipterist Charles Henry Tyler Townsend of the United States Department of Agriculture. Most of the correspondence is between United States National Museum Division of Insects staff, primarily John Merton Aldrich.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Diptera  Search this
Entomologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white transparencies
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-180, Charles Henry Tyler Townsend Papers
Identifier:
Accession 11-180
See more items in:
Charles Henry Tyler Townsend Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa11-180

Herbert Spencer Barber Papers

Creator::
Barber, Herbert Spencer, 1882-1950  Search this
Extent:
7 cu. ft. (14 document boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Field notes
Date:
1903-1950
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
These papers concern mostly his professional work as an entomologist and administration of the work of the Department of Agriculture and the National Museum. His field notebooks include information on his trips to California (1903), Texas (1904 and 1918), Guatemala (1906), and Arizona (1914), and lists of photographs of specimens taken during the trips. In a series of outgoing correspondence, 1904-1909, family and other personal correspondence predominates, but in later correspondence, professional and museum matters assume priority. Some letters to and from Schwarz are included, probably a result of close association. This latter correspondence is concerned with Museum and Agriculture business, including acquisition of specimens, arrangements for study at the Museum, internal administration, acquisition and loan of specimens, and answers to questions and requests for determinations; a substantial proportion of the correspondence consists of professional communication between Barber and other entomologists concerning questions of taxonomy and biology of insects.

Prominent correspondents are listed in the description of each series, followed by folder lists. Some Barber material remains in the Department of Entomology, notably random nomenclature and taxonomic notes on various genera of Chrysomelidae (.75 cubic foot) and card files of collecting and research work at Plummer's Island.
Historical Note:
Herbert Spencer Barber (1882-1950) was associated with entomology in the United States National Museum, Division of Insects, from 1898 until his death in 1950. A man with little formal education, he was appointed as assistant preparator of insects in 1898, and until 1902 worked directly for Eugene Amandus Schwarz. From 1902-1904 he was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture, part of which time he spent studying cotton insects in the southern states. From 1904 to 1908 he was back in the museum with Schwarz. From 1908 until his death in 1950 he was a specialist on beetles in the Division of Insect Identification in the Agriculture Department. During these years he worked mostly in the museum, in association with Schwarz until the latter1s death in 1928. Barber collected insects in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala, and he was an internationally recognized authority on chrysomelid bruchid and lampyrid beetles. He had wide knowledge extending beyond his own specialties, the coleoptera, and even the field of entomology.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Field notes
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7103, Herbert Spencer Barber Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7103
See more items in:
Herbert Spencer Barber Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7103

Box 2

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 138, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0138-refidd1e1523

Box 1

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 138, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0138-refidd1e212

Box 3

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e1404

Box 4

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e1948

Box 1

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e231

Box 5

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e2492

Box 6

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e2988

Box 7

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e3398

Box 8

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e3930

Box 9

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e4425

Box 10

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e4933

Box 11

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e5465

Box 12

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e5913

Box 13

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Insects  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 140, United States National Museum. Division of Insects, Correspondence
See more items in:
Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0140-refidd1e6226

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