This collection consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence documenting Porter M. Kier's research and curatorial careers. The letters concern the identification,
exchange, and acquisition of specimens; the publication of scientific papers; field work; and professional activities, especially his work for the PSA.
Porter M. Kier (1927- ), an invertebrate paleontologist and museum administrator, received his Ph.D. degree from Cambridge University in 1954. He joined the staff of
the United States National Museum in 1957 when he was appointed Associate Curator in the Department of Geology. In 1966, Kier was promoted to Curator in the Department of
Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), and from 1967 to 1972 served as Chairman of the Department. He was appointed Director of NMNH in 1973. Kier stepped
down from administration in 1979 and resumed his research career as a Senior Scientist. He remained in the position until his retirement in 1985.
Kier was a leading authority on fossil and living echinoids. He served as President of the Paleontological Society of America (PSA), from 1971 to 1972, and as Editor of
its publication, Journal of Paleontology, from 1965 to 1970.