National Museum of American History. Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics Search this
12 cu. ft. (24 document boxes) (oversize materials)
1956-1988 and undated
These records include administrative files of the Division of Mathematics and its predecessors; Merzbach correspondence with computer industries, university professors,
and pioneers or experts in the field of computing science; exhibition scripts, research material, and blueprints for the Hall of Mathematics; Computer History Project research
files, correspondence, floor plans, and budgetary information; and photographs of exhibitions, artifacts, and Division staff.
In 1965, a Section of Mathematics and Antique Instruments was created in the Division of Physical Sciences under Uta C. Merzbach, associate curator. The Section was
renamed the Section of Mathematics in 1968, and Merzbach reported to Silvio A. Bedini, assistant director for the Museum. In 1970 the Section of Mathematics became part of
the Division of Electricity and Nuclear Energy. Merzbach became involved in the Computer History Project (CHP), which included Henry S. Tropp as principal investigator. CHP
was a joint research effort between the Smithsonian Institution and the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) to gather information on the development
of computer technology. The project closed in 1974.
From 1974 to 1977, the Section of Mathematics reported to the chairman of the Department of Science and Technology. In 1978 it became the Division of Mathematics in the
Department of History of Science; and in 1987, it merged with the Division of Physical Sciences to form the Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics.
The Division of Mathematics and its predecessors were concerned with the history of mathematical calculating instruments, both domestic and foreign, dating back to the
eighteenth century. The Division prepared exhibitions for the Hall of Mathematics and collected artifacts such as planimeters, slide rules, mechanical calculators, digital
electronic computers, and astrolabes. Curators and staff of the Division and its predecessors included Robert P. Multhauf, curator of Physical Sciences and Measurement, 1955-1957,
curator of Physical Sciences, 1957-1964; Uta C. Merzbach, associate curator of Physical Sciences, 1964, associate curator of Mathematics and Antique Instruments, 1965-1968,
associate curator of Mathematics, 1968-1970, Curator of Mathematics, 1970-1988; and Henry S. Tropp, principal investigator of the Computer History Project, 1971-1974.
This accession consists of the records of research zoologist Roy W. McDiarmid and his work at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, United States Geological Survey
(USGS). McDiarmid's research focuses on the systematics, behavior, ecology, and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in the Neotropics. Records include graduate work; research
projects and publications; special projects, such as workshops, committees, and reviews; and activities with professional societies, including the American Society of Ichthyologists
and Herpetologists (ASIH) and the Herpetologists' League (HL). Some materials predate his time with the USGS.
Materials include correspondence, notes, research information, manuscripts, proposals, reports, reviews, maps, illustrations, postcards, newspaper clippings, microfiche,
photographs, negatives, and transparencies. Some materials are in electronic format.
This accession consists of curatorial records created and maintained by Terry L. Erwin, Curator of Coleoptera. Projects covered include Biological Diversity of Tropical
Latin America (BIOLAT), All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), and the Encyclopedia of Life. Materials include correspondence, notes, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, drawings,
newsletters, and photographs.
This accession consists of curatorial records created by Nicholas Hotton, Associate Curator, Curator, and Curator Emeritus, 1959-1998. Materials include correspondence;
memoranda; research notes, illustrations, proposals, and grants; exhibition files and floor plans; photographs and slides of specimens; lectures; and professional activity
This accession consists of records primarily created by Carl W. Mitman during his tenure as Curator of the Division of Mechanical Technology, 1921-1932, and Head Curator
of the Department of Arts and Industries, 1932-1948, United States National Museum. These files create a biographical sketch of a multitude of engineers, inventors, and industrialists.
Materials include correspondence, images, clippings, drawings, illustrations, negatives, phonograph records, and other related materials.