Records Concerning the Publication of Crustaceans, 1960-1976
In 1965, the University of Michigan Press published a revised edition of Waldo LaSalle Schmitt's Crustaceans as part of the Ann Arbor Science Paperback Series.
The work was originally published in 1931 as a volume of the Smithsonian Scientific Series. This series consists of correspondence with the University of Michigan Press concerning
the publication of the revised edition of Crustaceans, 1960-1974; correspondence from scientists and friends acknowledging receipt of complimentary copies of Crustaceans,
1966-1967; memorandum of agreement between Schmitt and the University of Michigan Press, 1965; royalty reports, 1967-1976; reviews of Crustaceans, 1966-1967; manuscripts
and a reader's proof; miscellaneous notes and publications on crustacea; and photographs and drawings.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7231, Waldo L. Schmitt Papers
In 1923 the Smithsonian approached William T. DeVan and his associates with a plan to produce a series of popular scientific books to be marketed by DeVan for the Smithsonian's benefit. The set, called the Smithsonian Scientific Series, became quite popular and produced substantial revenues before its discontinuance in the 1940s. Record unit 45 chronicles only the bare beginning of the effort; record unit 46 contains most of the records.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 45, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Secretary, Records
57.93 cu. ft. (5 record storage boxes) (104 document boxes) (2 half document boxes) (1 12x17 box) (oversize materials)
This record unit documents the growth and management of the Smithsonian from 1890 to 1929. Of special interest is the Institution's entry into the field of the fine
arts through the creation of the National Gallery of Art and the Freer Gallery of Art. The Smithsonian continued to pursue a wide variety of other interests as well. Thus,
the records deal with the following topics, among others: aviation; the American School of Archaeology in China; the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C.; the Cinchona
Botanical Station, Jamaica; many international congresses; numerous national and international expositions, especially the Panama-California Exposition, 1912-1916, and the
Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco, 1914-1915; the George Washington Memorial Association; the Harriman Alaska series; the Kahn Foundation for Foreign Travel of American
Teachers; the Koren Expedition to Siberia; the Langley-Wright aerodrome controversy; the Montezuma solar observatory at Calama, Chile; solar observations at Mount Harqua Hala,
Arizona, and Mount Wilson, California; the Naples Zoological Station; the National Academy of Sciences; the National Research Council; publication of Mary Vaux Walcott's North
American Wildflowers; the Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone; the Alfred Duane Pell Collection; the Research Corporation; the Roosevelt African Expedition; seismological
studies; the Charles D. and Mary Vaux Walcott Research Fund; the Smithsonian Scientific Series; grants from the Hodgkins Fund; the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory; and the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The records include correspondence, minutes, announcements, publications, fiscal records, photographs, manuscripts, and news clippings.
These records document the administration of the Smithsonian Institution during the tenure of Charles D. Walcott, its fourth Secretary, who served from 1907 to 1927.
This period gave a deceptive appearance of strength to the Institution's life. Walcott himself, perhaps the last of the nineteenth-century scientist-politicians to combine
a distinguished scientific reputation and polished ease in the world of political Washington, lent the Institution considerable support from his wide experience and many friends
among the powerful of the day. The Institution's staff also boasted an able corps of scientists and senior administrators. Several new programs were developed during these
years--the National Gallery of Art (now the National Museum of American Art) and the Freer Gallery of Art, in particular. These two galleries gave the Smithsonian its first
real grounding in fine arts and rounded out the vision of the Institution as a place hospitable to all fields of learning.
Yet with the benefit of hindsight, these accomplishments can be seen to have masked real weakness, described either as the Smithsonian's failure to adapt its perception
of itself to the changing world or as a lack of money.
When the Smithsonian was created in 1846 the corpus of its endowment was somewhat more than $500,000.00. It had few rivals elsewhere in the country. However, with the growth
of large-scale private philanthropy after the Civil War, the Smithsonian's means shrank steadily in comparison to the endowments of leading institutions like the Sheffield
Scientific School at Yale or new entrants like Stanford and the University of Chicago. No doubt this situation developed in part because the Smithsonian had no real alumni.
It received a few small gifts from well-to-do members of its own staff and one moderate gift from Thomas George Hodgkins, a naturalized English eccentric. For all else it
relied on small appropriations from the federal government, for which it performed certain services such as curating the collections of the National Museum. Coupled with meager
financial resources was the Regents' suspicion of new and nonscientific endeavors. It is likely, for instance, that the Regents would have refused Charles Lang Freer's gift
of a gallery of oriental art in 1906, had Theodore Roosevelt not obliged them to accept it. In the same way, the gift of certain patents on electrostatic precipitators by
Frederic G. Cottrell in 1911 was politely shunted onto other shoulders, leaving the Smithsonian a remote beneficiary of the income. The Smithsonian's aloofness was in sharp
contrast to the willingness of other institutions to accept such gifts. How this attitude arose is not clear. Perhaps it was an unconscious extension of Joseph Henry's early
determination to associate the Smithsonian's name only with "worthy" purposes. However that may be, the Smithsonian was very late in the field in trying to augment its endowment.
Walcott had begun to plan a campaign to raise $10,000,000.00--documented in record unit 46--which collapsed with his untimely death in 1927. Thus the Institution was to enter
the era of the Depression in very straitened circumstances.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
79.56 cu. ft. (6 record storage boxes) (121 document boxes) (2 half document boxes) (4 12x17 boxes) (60 3x5 boxes) (3 5x8 boxes) (2 film boxes) (oversize material)
Motion pictures (visual works)
The papers of Waldo LaSalle Schmitt provide comprehensive documentation of his professional career, 1907-1977. They also illustrate, to a lesser degree, his personal
life. Particularly well represented in the papers is material concerning Schmitt's carcinological research, his curatorial and administrative careers at the United States
National Museum (USNM), his career as a field worker and scientific expedition member, and his activities in scientific societies and professional organizations.
Schmitt was a prolific letter writer and a large part of his papers consists of correspondence written and received between 1907 and 1977. The correspondence reflects all
aspects of Schmitt's career, particularly expeditions and field work, the evolution of his duties at the USNM, carcinological research, and relations with the scientific community.
Also included are many letters with friends and family members concerning personal matters.
Records relating to Schmitt's activities in scientific societies, professional organizations, and social groups are found in his organizational files. They also include
files kept by Schmitt on government agencies, museums, colleges and universities, and research foundations. Included are records documenting Schmitt's tenure as President
of the Washington Academy of Sciences, his duties as a trustee of the Bear's Bluff Laboratories and the International Oceanographic Foundation, his application for the position
of Director of the California Academy of Sciences, his academic careers at George Washington University and the University of California, and his career as an instructor at
George Washington University.
Other records relating to Schmitt's service in professional organizations exist in separate series. These include files concerning his work on the editorial board for biological
manuscripts for the American Geophysical Union's Antarctic Research Series, records regarding his service on the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Polar Research,
and files reflecting his activities as a member of the Explorers Club and the Society of Systematic Zoology (SSZ). The SSZ files are of particular interest since they provide
information concerning the founding and early history of the Society and include records maintained by Schmitt during his tenure as the organization's first President.
Schmitt's fifty-two-year career as a field worker and scientific expedition member is extensively illustrated in the expedition files. The records include diaries, field
notes, station data, correspondence, manuscripts, reprints, publications, reports, newspaper clippings, financial records, photographs, notes, maps, and memorabilia collected
by Schmitt. Records concerning his underwater photography field work with Harry Pederson are contained in a separate series.
Aside from his correspondence, Schmitt's personal activities and outside interests are best illustrated by records concerning his ideas and plans for easing traffic problems
in Washington, D.C. Included is correspondence, newspaper articles by Schmitt, and hearing statements that outline his plans for a commuter railroad.
The papers include a large group of photographs, slides, movies, lantern slides, and tape recordings made and collected by Schmitt. Included are photographs of Schmitt,
scientific colleagues, and Smithsonian and USNM associates; early underwater photographs taken by William Harding Longley at Tortugas, Florida; slides, movies, lantern slides,
and tape recordings made on expeditions; and a tape recording of the "Remembrance to Waldo LaSalle Schmitt" held at the National Museum of Natural History in 1978.
The papers also include diaries and notebooks mostly concerning USNM business, but also containing entries made on expeditions; records dealing with the republication of
Schmitt's book Crustaceans; files on his research project "The American Commensal Crabs of the Family Pinnotheridae"; manuscripts, speeches, and publications of Schmitt;
biographical materials, compiled by Schmitt on his mentor, Mary Jane Rathbun; records, collected by Schmitt, on Robert A. Bartlett and the Bartlett Arctic Expeditions; a transcript
of an oral history interview of Schmitt; and awards, diplomas, and citations received by Schmitt.
Additional material in the Smithsonian Archives that relates to Schmitt can be found in the records of the Division of Marine Invertebrates, United States National Museum
(Record Units 233 and 235) and its successor, the Division of Crustacea, National Museum of Natural History (Record Unit 307), and the records of the Departments of Biology
and Zoology, United States National Museum (Record Units 143, 242, and 243).
Waldo LaSalle Schmitt (1887-1977) was born in Washington, D.C. He developed an early interest in natural history, studying the flora and fauna of the District of Columbia
and nearby Maryland. He received the B.S. degree from George Washington University in 1913; the M.A. degree from the University of California in 1916; and his Ph.D. from George
Washington University in 1922. In 1948, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Southern California.
Schmitt began his career in government service in 1907 as an Aide in Economic Botany for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served in that position until 1910 when
he was appointed Scientific Aide in the Division of Marine Invertebrates of the United States National Museum (USNM). At USNM, he became acquainted with Mary Jane Rathbun
and began to develop his interest in the study of crustacea. From 1911 to 1914, Schmitt served on the staff of the United States Bureau of Fisheries as Scientific Assistant
and Naturalist aboard the Albatross during its cruises along the west coast of America and Alaska. Crustacean collections surveys made on the Albatross provided
the material for Schmitt's M.A. thesis, "The Marine Decapod Crustacea of California." In 1915, Schmitt returned to the United States National Museum as Assistant Curator in
the Division of Marine Invertebrates. From 1915 to 1920, he also served as part-time instructor of Zoology at George Washington University. In 1920, Schmitt was named Curator
of the Division of Marine Invertebrates and remained in that capacity until 1943 when he was appointed Head Curator of the Department of Biology. The Department of Biology
was split into the Departments of Zoology and Botany in 1947, with Schmitt as Head Curator of Zoology. Upon his retirement in 1957, Schmitt was named Honorary Research Associate
and continued his association with the Smithsonian Institution until his death on 5 August 1977.
Schmitt participated in numerous biological expeditions and field trips during his career. Under the auspices of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, he spent the summer
of 1918 studying the life history of the spiny lobster at the Scripps Institution, La Jolla, California. During the summers of 1924 and 1925, Schmitt was at the Carnegie Institution's
Marine Laboratory at Tortugas, Florida, surveying the crustacean fauna of the area, identifying crustaceans found in the stomachs of fishes, and taking underwater photographs.
He also participated in field work at Tortugas during the summers of 1930, 1931, and 1932. In 1925, Schmitt was awarded the Smithsonian's Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship
"for the study of the fauna of countries other than the United States." The scholarship enabled him to collect marine invertebrates along the east coast of South America from
August to December, 1925, and on the west coast from August 1926 to May 1927.
During the years 1933 to 1935, Schmitt was a member of three expeditions to the Galapagos Islands sponsored by G. Allan Hancock of Los Angeles, California. While on these
trips, Schmitt became acquainted with a group of utopian colonists on Florena Island in the Galapagos, who attracted considerable attention in the world press by their intrigues
and mysterious behavior. As a guest of G. Huntington Hartford, he explored and collected in the West Indies on the Smithsonian-Hartford West Indies Expedition of 1937. In
1938, Schmitt was chosen by the White House to accompany President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Naturalist on the Presidential Cruise to Clipperton, Cocos, and the Galapagos Islands.
In 1939, Schmitt was a member of the Hancock South America Expedition and he served as the Biologist in charge of field operations on the first United States Fish and Wildlife
Service Alaska King Crab Investigation in 1940. During 1941 and 1942, Schmitt spent time on special detail with the United States Navy investigating the possibility of establishing
a biological station in the Galapagos Islands. In 1943, he visited South America, under the auspices of the State Department, for the purpose of strengthening relations between
United States and Latin American scientists.
In 1955, the Smithsonian Institution began an association with J. Bruce Bredin of Wilmington, Delaware, that produced several scientific expeditions. In that year, Schmitt
headed the Smithsonian-Bredin Belgian Congo Expedition. From 1956 to 1960, Schmitt led Bredin sponsored expeditions to the Caribbean (1956, 1958, 1959), the Society Islands
(1957), and the Yucatan (1960). Sponsored by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, Schmitt spent the summers of 1961 and 1962 with Harry Pederson photographing the coral
reef fauna of the Bahama Islands. Schmitt's last expedition was in 1962-1963, when he served as a member of the Palmer Peninsula (Antarctica) Survey of the United States Antarctic
Research Program. During the survey, Schmitt collected over 29,000 specimens, which were added to the collections of the National Museum of Natural History. In recognition
of his contributions to the United States Antarctic Research Program, the Board of Geographic Names designated a 30 mile ice-covered series of outcrops at the base of the
Antarctic Peninsula, Schmitt Mesa.
Schmitt's primary field of zoological investigation was carcinology, with special emphasis on the decapod crustaceans (the order that includes crabs, lobsters, and shrimp).
His bibliography consists of more than seventy titles. A member of numerous professional organizations, Schmitt was active in the founding of the Society of Systematic Zoology
and served as president in 1948. He was also president of the Washington Academy of Sciences in 1947. Schmitt was a trustee of the Bear's Bluff Laboratories, the International
Oceanographic Foundation, and the Serological Museum of Rutgers University.
For additional biographical information on Waldo LaSalle Schmitt, see Richard E. Blackwelder, The Zest for Life, or Waldo Had a Pretty Good Run: The Life of Waldo LaSalle
Schmitt (Lawrence, Kansas: The Allen Press, Inc., 1979); Fenner A. Chace, Jr., "Waldo LaSalle Schmitt, 25 June 1887 - 5 August 1977," Crustaceana, 1978, vol. 34,
pt. 1, pp. 83-90; and John Sherwood, "Uncle Waldo Still Hears the Call of Crustaceans," The Washington Star, January 11, 1977.
June 25, 1887 -- Born in Washington, D.C.
1907-1910 -- Aide in Economic Botany, United States Department of Agriculture
1910 -- Scientific Aide, Division of Marine Invertebrates, United States National Museum (February-September)
1911 -- Scientific Assistant, Bureau of Fisheries Expedition to Lower California aboard the Albatross (February-May)
1911 -- Scientific Assistant, Bureau of Fisheries Chignik (Alaska) Biological Survey aboard the Albatross and the Star of Alaska (May-September)
1912-1914 -- Scientific Assistant, Bureau of Fisheries Survey of San Francisco Bay aboard the Albatross (various trips)
1913 -- Bachelor of Science, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1914 -- Naturalist in charge of biological activities, Bureau of Fisheries Halibut Survey of Washington and Oregon aboard the Albatross (April-May, August-September)
1914 -- Assistant, Bureau of Fisheries Olympia Oyster Beds Survey (June-August)
1914 -- Married Alvina Stumm (November 19)
1915-1920 -- Assistant Curator, Division of Marine Invertebrates, USNM
1915-1920 -- Instructor in Zoology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1916 -- Master of Arts, University of California, Berkeley
1918 -- Bureau of Fisheries Spiny Lobster Investigations aboard the Albacore out of La Jolla, California (June-August)
1920-1943 -- Curator, Division of Marine Invertebrates, USNM
1921 -- The Marine Decapod Crustacea of California..., University of California Publications in Zoology, volume 23
1922 -- Ph.D., George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1924 -- Field work at Carnegie Marine Laboratory, Dry Tortugas, Florida (summer)
1925 -- Field work at Carnegie Marine Laboratory, Dry Tortugas, Florida (summer)
1925 -- Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship Expedition to the East Coast of South America (August-December)
1926-1927 -- Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship Expedition to the West Coast of South America, including the Falkland Islands, Deception Island, and Juan Fernandez Islands (August 1926-May 1927)
1930 -- Field work at Carnegie Marine Laboratory, Dry Tortugas, Florida (summer)