A. Myra Keen Papers,
circa 1918-1985 and undated, with material

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7333
Creators:
Keen, A. Myra,(Angeline Myra),1905-
Dates:
circa 1918-1985 and undated, with material
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5.6 linear meters.
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Introduction
Introduction
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection documents the professional career of Angeline Myra Keen, mostly her years on the faculty of Stanford University. A paleontologist and malacologist, Keen's interests were diverse and included marine molluscan Cenozoic paleontology; neontology and zoogeography of western North America; and, especially, problems in systematics and nomenclature. Keen was also active in professional organizations and wrote extensively.
The greater part of the collection consists of professional correspondence and writing, and records of field trips undertaken to pursue her research. The collection also contains family correspondence and other material documenting her childhood, education, and genealogical interests, as well as philosophical and religious reflections on the human condition.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Angeline Myra Keen (1905-1986) was a long-time member of the faculty of Stanford University. Although her academic training was in psychology, she became an expert in paleontology, and more particularly in malacology, the branch of zoology that deals with mollusks. She produced a large body of popular and scholarly work, taught many students, and was widely respected in her field.
After graduating from Colorado College (1930), Myra Keen and her mother moved to Stanford, where Keen took her M.A. in 1931, and then to the University of California at Berkeley, from which she received her doctorate in 1934. There were few jobs available in her field, so she took a volunteer job working on shells at Stanford. There the paleontologist Hubert Gregory Schenck encouraged her to study in that field, especially malacology. Keen spent the remainder of her career at Stanford. She belatedly became an assistant professor in 1954, an associate professor in 1960 and, in 1965, a full professor. At that time she was one of only three women so employed in the scientific disciplines at Stanford.
Keen undertook extensive field work on the west coast of America, as far south as Peru. She published her finest work in 1958, The Shells of Tropical West America: Marine Mollusks from Lower California to Colombia.
Professor Keen was active in many professional societies. She served as president of the American Malacological Union in 1948; in 1949, as a member of the Paleontological Society and chairman of the Pacific Coast Section. In 1970 she was chairman of the Western Malacological Union. She also served as chairman of the Committee on Nomenclature of the Society of Systematic Zoology.
Myra Keen received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa; was made a Guggenheim Fellow in 1964; and, in 1979, became the first woman to receive the Fellows' Medal of the California Academy of Sciences. In 1975 Emperor Hirohito of Japan, himself a noted student of shells, asked to meet Keen on his visit to the United States, and they discussed the molluscan faunas of Japan and northwestern North America.
Professor Keen was an individual of quiet temper but strong convictions. A devoted pacifist, she joined the Religious Society of Friends in 1964. She retired from Stanford in 1972 but continued her interest in scholarship and in the work of her students and colleagues until her death.

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7333, Keen, A. Myra,(Angeline Myra),1905-, A. Myra Keen Papers

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Keen, A. Myra (Angeline Myra), 1905- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 1901- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Berry, S. Stillman (Samuel Stillman), 1887-1984 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pilsbry, Henry Augustus, b. 1862 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Commission on Nomenclature, 1943-1983. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Joint Committee on Zoological Nomenclature for Paleontology in America. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Society of Systematic Zoology (U.S.). Nomenclature Committee. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stanford University Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Colorado College. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Religious Society of Friends. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Malacological Union. Pacific Division. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Western Society of Malacologists. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Invertebrate zoology. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mollusks. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taxonomy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu