The administration of the United States National Museum required curators to submit regular reports on the activities of the departments, divisions, and sections. Prior
to about 1900 these reports were often made monthly and semiannually as well as annually. The reports were traditionally submitted to the Director of the National Museum to
be used in preparing the published Annual Report of the United States National Museum. The individual reports, however, were not reproduced in their entirety in the published
Annual Report and generally contain more information than is to be found in the published version.
Reports were stored by the Office of Correspondence and Reports (later known as the Office of Correspondence and Documents), and then by the Office of the Registrar.
Includes reports submitted to the Director of the United States National Museum by curators and administrators.
These papers of Frederick Vernon Coville were part of a group of Smithsonian Department of Botany records which were originally deposited in 1971 at the Hunt Institute
for Botanical Documentation. In December 1977, the records were returned to the Smithsonian for maintenance in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
These papers consist of a small amount of correspondence, 1888-1921; material concerning the Medicinal Plants Survey, 1897-1898; notes concerning the revision of Coville's
work on Death Valley plants, 1933-1936; and a small group of manuscript notes on currants and gooseberries, undated. Events and items of special interest which are documented
in the correspondence include the explorations of Per Axel Rydberg in the Black Hills; the artistic work of Frederick A. Walpole; the acquisition of the Greene Herbarium;
the botany exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893; and the Mearns collection from the Mexican Boundary Survey, 1893.
The Smithsonian Archives contains other Coville correspondence scattered throughout a number of collections. Most of this material can be found in the records of the Division
of Plants, particularly Record Units 220, 221, 222, and 224. Other collections include Record Unit 201, Assistant Secretary in Charge of the United States National Museum,
1875-1902, and the records of the Office of the Secretary, Record Units 31, 34, 45, and 46. The main body of Coville's official correspondence is located in Record Group 54,
Records of the Bureau of Plant Industry, at the National Archives.
Frederick Vernon Coville (1867-1937), botanist and blueberry breeder, was born in New York and educated at Cornell University (B. A., 1887). His important field work
included the Geological Survey of Arkansas, 1888; the Death Valley Expedition, 1891; and the Harriman Alaska Expedition, 1899. Most of his career was spent at the United States
Department of Agriculture, where he served as Assistant Botanist, 1888-1893, and Botanist, 1893-1937. He was also Honorary Curator of the United States National Herbarium,
1893-1937, and was instrumental in the establishment of the National Arboretum in 1927. More extensive biographical material can be found in Science, Volume 85, 280-281.