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Leonhard Stejneger Papers

Creator::
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943  Search this
Extent:
23.86 cu. ft. (46 document boxes) (2 12x17 boxes) (oversize materials)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Account books
Scrapbooks
Black-and-white photographs
Field notes
Journals (accounts)
Diaries
Manuscripts
Date:
1753, 1867-1943
Descriptive Entry:
The papers of Leonhard Stejneger consist of manuscripts on Japanese herpetology, Chinese herpetology, Puerto Rican and West Indian herpetology, North American herpetology, poisonous snakes, turtles, fur seals, ornithology, European fauna and the study of life zones; manuscripts, general notes and bibliographic notes and correspondence regarding the publication of Stejneger's biography of Georg Wilhelm Steller; diaries, notebooks, and account books covering much of the time Stejneger spent at zoological congresses and on field trips; photographs of fur seals and natives of the North Pacific-Bering Sea area; photographs of mammal skulls and skeletons; scrapbooks; outgoing correspondence; and personal material.
Historical Note:
Leonhard Stejneger (1851-1943) was born in Bergen, Norway, and received his early education there. Later he studied medicine and law at the University of Kristiania. Stejneger's interest in zoology began at an early age, for he produced his earliest field notes in ornithology in 1867. Four years later his first zoological paper was published, and in 1873 his first book was published. He described his first bird, Lanius bairdi, in 1878. In 1881 he left Norway for the United States and arrived in Washington, D.C., where be soon began working with the birds of the New World at the Smithsonian Institution, particularly aquatic birds. In December 1884 he was appointed assistant curator in the Department of Birds under Robert Ridgway, curator. In 1889 after the resignation of Henry Crecy Yarrow, honorary curator of the Department of Reptiles and Batrachians, Stejneger became the first full-time curator for the Department. In 1903 he served as acting head curator of the Department of Biology for several months, and in 1911 he was appointed head curator of the Department of Biology after Frederick William True vacated the post. From that time until his death, Stejneger served both as head curator of the Department of Biology and curator of the Division of Reptiles and Batrachians. Also, for years he chaired a Smithsonian committee which considered manuscripts for publication.

In 1882 Stejneger was sent to the Commander Islands under the auspices of the U.S. Signal Service to establish observation stations. While there he studied the islands' natural history, the fur seals, and made specimen collections, including the skeleton of a sea-cow. As the problem of the fur seals and commercial sealing became an international economic and political concern, Stejneger's studies of the seals and the sealing conditions became more involved. In 1895 he was sent to the North Pacific as an attache of the U.S. Fish Commission. The next year President Cleveland appointed Stejneger to the International Fur-Seal Commission; he spent most of this time on the Pribilof and Commander Islands as well as some time in Hakodate, Japan. He returned to the Bering Sea again in 1897 to continue his studies and investigations. His last trip to the Commander Islands was in 1922 as a representative of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As a representative of the United States National Museum, Stejneger attended several international scientific congresses. He attended the International Zoological Congresses of 1898, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1913, 1927, and 1930, as well as ornithological and fisheries congresses. He was elected to the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature in 1898 and served as the organizing secretary for the Section on Zoogeography at the 1907 Zoological Congress. Because most of the congresses were held in Europe, Stejneger was able to study European museums and their specimens as well as European fauna and the correlation of life zones between Europe and North America.

Stejneger also made field trips to various sections of the United States and nearby areas. After joining C. Hart Merriam's biological survey of the San Francisco mountain region in 1889, he collected specimens in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In 1894 he took a field trip to the South Dakota Badlands. In 1900 he joined Charles W. Richmond, assistant curator in the Division of Birds, on an expedition to Puerto Rico and the West Indies, and during the summer of 1906 he studied the salamanders of Augusta County, Virginia.

After his first trip to the Commander Islands in 1882 to search for evidence of the Steller sea-cow, Stejneger began compiling data and conducting exhaustive research on Georg Wilhelm Steller, the pioneer of Alaskan natural history who accompanied Vitus Bering to North America. For approximately fifty years Stejneger researched his subject and finally published the biography of Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1936.

In addition to the above publication, Stejneger's bibliography contains more than four hundred titles. Of particular importance are Results of Ornithological Explorations in the Commander Islands and in Kamtschatka (1885), portions of the Standard Natural History (1885), edited by J. Sterling Kingsley, The Poisonous Snakes of North America (1895), The Russian Fur-Seal Islands (1896), Herpetology of Porto Rico (1904), and Herpetology of Japan and Adjacent Territories (1907). With the collaboration of Thomas Barbour of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Stejneger published a Check-List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles in five editions (1917, 1923, 1933, 1939, 1943).

Stejneger's correspondence as curator of Reptiles and Batrachians as well as some correspondence he conducted while assistant curator in the Department of Birds is found in the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians Records, 1873-1968 (see Record Unit 161).
Topic:
Herpetology  Search this
Mammalogy  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Ornithology  Search this
Ornithologists  Search this
Herpetologists  Search this
Northern fur seal  Search this
Naturalists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Account books
Scrapbooks
Black-and-white photographs
Field notes
Journals (accounts)
Diaries
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7074, Leonhard Stejneger Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7074
See more items in:
Leonhard Stejneger Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7074

Folder 5 Lists of photographs and specimens, July 5-November 29, 1896, from participation in the International Fur-Seal Commission on Pribilof, Commander, Kurile, and Robben Islands, Petropaulski, Japan, and Hawaii.

Collection Creator::
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943  Search this
Container:
Box 25 of 48
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7074, Leonhard Stejneger Papers
See more items in:
Leonhard Stejneger Papers
Leonhard Stejneger Papers / Series 6: DIARIES, NOTEBOOKS, AND ACCOUNT BOOKS, 1882-1913. UNDATED, ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY. / Box 25
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7074-refidd1e4689

Leonhard Stejneger and Georg Herman Baur Collection

Extent:
1.6 linear meters.
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scientific illustrations
Date:
circa 1850-1943
Descriptive Entry:
This collection consists of papers documenting the research of both Stejneger and Baur on tortoises. Much of the Baur material was created during his research for the planned USNM monograph on North American tortoises. The papers consist of correspondence, notes, manuscripts, lists, newspaper clippings, photographs, negatives, and drawings. Of special interest are color drawings executed by John H. Richard and Antonio Zeno Shindler.
Historical Note:
Leonhard Stejneger (1851-1943) was born in Norway. In 1881 he left for the United States and arrived in Washington, D.C., where he soon began working with the birds of the New World at the Smithsonian Institution with particular interest in aquatic birds. In December 1884, he was appointed Assistant Curator in the Department of Birds under Robert Ridgway, Curator. In 1889, after the resignation of Henry Crecy Yarrow, Honorary Curator of the Department of Reptiles and Batrachians, Stejneger became the first full-time Curator for the Department. In 1903 he served as Acting Head Curator of the Department of Biology for several months, and in 1911 he was appointed Head Curator of the Department of Biology after Frederick William True vacated the post. From that time until his death, Stejneger served both as Head Curator of the Department of Biology and Curator of the Division of Reptiles and Batrachians. He also chaired a Smithsonian committee which considered manuscripts for publication.

In addition to his herpetological and ornithological work, Stejneger was recognized as an authority on the fur seals of the North Pacific. He began his studies in this field when he was sent to the Commander Islands for the United States Signal Service in 1882, and made a number of trips to the area between then and 1922. In 1896, Stejneger was appointed to the International Fur Seal Commission by President Grover Cleveland. In connection with his fur seal work, Stejneger researched and published a biography of Georg Wilhelm Steller, 1936.

Stejneger also played an important role in international zoological meetings and was elected to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature in 1898.

Georg Herman Baur (1859-1898) was born and educated in Germany. He came to the United States in 1884 to be Othniel Charles Marsh's assistant at Yale University. He later held faculty positions at Clark University and the University of Chicago. Baur's primary fields of study were comparative osteology and paleontology. At the time of his death, Baur was preparing a monograph on the tortoises of North America which was to be published by the United States National Museum (USNM).
Topic:
Herpetology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scientific illustrations
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7441, , Leonhard Stejneger and Georg Herman Baur Collection
Identifier:
Record Unit 7441
See more items in:
Leonhard Stejneger and Georg Herman Baur Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7441

Lists of photographs and specimens, July 5-November 29, 1896

Collection name:
Leonhard Stejneger Papers, 1753, 1867-1943
Physical Description:
1 field book
Physical Location:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Sublocation:
Box 25 Folder 5
Record type:
Fieldbook record
Object Type:
Field notes
Place:
Russia
Kuril Islands
Kuril'skiye Ostrova
Kamchatka
Ushishir, Vulkan
Raykoke, Ostrov
Sakhalin, Ostrov
Tyuleniy, Ostrov
Date Range:
1896-1897
Start Date:
18960605
End Date:
18971007
Topic:
Ornithology  Search this
Ornithologists  Search this
Accession #:
SIA RU007074
Access Information:
Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu.
See more records from this collection:
Leonhard Stejneger Papers, 1753, 1867-1943
See more records associated with this person:
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fbr_item_MODSI613

Leonhard Stejneger Papers, 1753, 1867-1943

Extent:
38 items (field books and photographs)
Physical Location:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record type:
Collection record
Place:
United States
Russia
Japan
Puerto Rico
Switzerland
Denmark
Norway
Italy
Beringa, ostrov
Mednyy, Ostrov
Tyuleniy, Ostrov
Japan
Kamchatka
Kuril'skiye Ostrova
South Dakota
Date Range:
1871-1913
Topic:
Mammalia  Search this
Reptilia  Search this
Amphibia  Search this
Callorhinus  Search this
Aves  Search this
Animalia  Search this
Reptiles  Search this
Mammals  Search this
Amphibians  Search this
Birds  Search this
Northern fur seals  Search this
Sea otters  Search this
Moles  Search this
Voles  Search this
Shrews  Search this
Accession #:
SIA RU007074
Access Information:
Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu.
See more records associated with this collector:
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943
See more records from this field book collection:
Leonhard Stejneger Papers, 1753, 1867-1943
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fbr_coll_NCDC27

Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943

Forename:
Leonhard  Search this
Middle Initial:
Hess  Search this
Surname:
Stejneger  Search this
Occupation:
Zoologists
Herpetologists
Ornithologists
Natural history museum curators
Record type:
Personal name
Birth Date:
1851
Death Date:
1943
See more records related to affiliations:
Smithsonian Institution
See more records associated with this person:
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:auth_per_fbr_EACP40

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