The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives'
record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program
staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted
by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Chace was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his long association with the NMNH and outstanding research career.
Chace was interviewed by Pamela M. Henson on October 6 and 11, 1977. The interviews cover Chace's youth and education, curatorial career at the MCZ and NMNH, research
interests in decapod Crustacea, service during World War II, and reminiscences about colleagues.
Fenner Albert Chace, (1908-2004) was a carcinologist and Research Associate of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), specializing in the taxonomy, morphology,
and distribution of decapod Crustacea. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1908, where he grew up. His summers were spent in the countryside of Tiverton, Rhode Island,
and there he developed an early interest in natural history. Chace majored in biology at Harvard University, receiving the A.B. in 1930, the A.M. in 1931, and the Ph.D. in
1934. From 1934 to 1946, Chace curated the crustacean collection at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), as Assistant Curator, Marine Invertebrates, from 1934 to 1942
and as Curator of Crustacea from 1942 to 1946. Chace held the Agassiz fellowship at the MCZ from 1935 to 1939. After serving in the army during World War II, Chace was appointed
Curator of the Division of Marine Invertebrates of the United States National Museum (USNM) in 1946. During his years as Curator, Chace oversaw the growth of the division,
the move into the West Wing of the Natural History Building, and the planning of exhibits. In 1963, Chace was appointed the first Senior Scientist in the NMNH, a position
devoted entirely to research. During his long career, Chace named over 200 taxa in the Decapoda and Stomatopoda. Chace retired from the position as Senior Zoologist, Department
of Invertebrate Zoology in September of 1978, but continued as a Zoologist Emeritus and Research Associate of the NMNH until his death in 2004.
United States. National Marine Fisheries Service Search this
4 cu. ft. (4 record storage boxes)
Isabel C. Pérez Farfante (married name Canet) was born in Havana, Cuba on July 24, 1916. She received her Ph.D. from Radcliffe College in 1948. She was a professor
and researcher at the University of Havana; director of the Cuban Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras; and associate in Invertebrate Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology,
Harvard University. She worked at the United States National Marine Fisheries Service, National Systematics Laboratory until her retirement in 1986 when she became Carcinologist
Emeritus. She has authored zoology textbooks and numerous papers on the systematics of penaeoid shrimps. This accession consists of her correspondence and subject files while
working at the National Systematics Laboratory. Materials include black and white photographs, color photographs, color slides, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
Schmitt, Waldo L. (Waldo Lasalle), 1887-1977. Search this
This series consists of correspondence documenting the professional career and personal life of Waldo LaSalle Schmitt. A prolific letter writer, Schmitt maintained
an extensive correspondence with domestic and foreign carcinologists and workers in all fields of the biological sciences. Correspondents also include officers and staff of
the Smithsonian and United States National Museum, educators, government officials, business associates, family members, and friends. Correspondence concerns the administration
of the Division of Marine Invertebrates and the Departments of Biology and Zoology; carcinological research; field work and collecting trips; foreign and domestic scientific
affairs; and personal matters. A few manuscripts are also found in this series and are indicated in the folder listing. Correspondence and other files relating to scientific
societies, universities, government agencies, and other organizations can be found in Series 2-6. The expedition files (Series 15) contain correspondence documenting Schmitt's
many collecting excursions.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7231, Waldo L. Schmitt Papers
This accession consists of the professional correspondence of carcinologist Patsy A. McLaughlin (1932-2011). Over her career, she worked as a Fishery Biologist at the
Seattle Biological Laboratory, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, 1957-1960; Assistant Zoologist at the Department of Oceanography, University of Washington, 1960-1963; Supervisor
of Invertebrates at the Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center (SOSC), Smithsonian Institution, 1965-1968; Research Assistant Professor and Research Associate at the Rosenstiel
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 1969-1973; Research Scientist and Courtesy Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International
University, 1975-1989; and Resident Scientist with the Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University. The majority of this correspondence is from after her time
at SOSC. Materials also include postcards, photographs, and slides.
The papers of Mary Jane Rathbun document her career as a carcinologist and consist of correspondence, 1894-1938; manuscripts; research material; photographs; and an
Mary Jane Rathbun (1860-1943) was born in Buffalo, New York. Educated in the public schools of Buffalo, she became interested in zoology through her brother Richard.
A staff member of the United States Fish Commission (and later an assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution), Richard Rathbun introduced his sister to the Commission
and its work at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She worked for the Fish Commission, on a voluntary basis, during the summers from 1881 to 1884. In 1884, she was appointed to a
salaried position as clerk with the Fish Commission, where she remained until 1886, when she joined the staff of the United States National Museum (USNM) as copyist in the
Department of Marine Invertebrates. Rathbun was promoted to aid in 1893, second assistant curator in 1894, and assistant curator in 1907. She resigned in 1914 so that her
salary could be used to hire another assistant curator. After her resignation, she was given the honorary title associate in zoology and continued her work on the invertebrate
collections in the USNM. In 1916, Rathbun received an honorary M.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and the following year received an honorary doctorate from the
George Washington University.
Rathbun's primary zoological interest was the study of crustacea, particularly the crabs, both recent and fossil. Her bibliography numbered 158 titles, with her most important
works being four monographs on the grapsoid, spider, cancroid, and oxystomatous crabs of America, published as Bulletins of the United States National Museum between 1918
This collection consists mostly of correspondence between Glassell and fellow carcinologists concerning his research on American pinnotherid crabs and other crustacea.
Also included is correspondence from United States National Museum (USNM) administrators concerning the transmission of specimens for study and USNM shipping invoices. The
correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
Steve A. Glassell ( - 1949) was a California businessman and a vocational carcinologist. His primary research interest was the study of American pinnotherid crabs.
National Museum of Natural History. Department of Invertebrate Zoology Search this
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Aldabra Islands (Seychelles)
This accession consists of field notes of Janice Clark (1948- ), carcinologist and collections manager at the Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center and the National
Museum of Natural History, 1973-2003. These notes document specimens in Florida and the Aldabra Islands.