Guide to the Richard Lynch Garner papers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.XXXX.0243
Creators:
Garner, Richard Lynch, 1848-1920
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961
Dates:
1891-1941
Languages:
English
Material is in English.
Physical Description:
2 Linear feet
5 boxes
Repository:
Many facets of Richard Lynch Garner's life and work as an early animal behaviorist observing primates in Africa are represented in these papers. Other than a few notebooks of poems and manuscripts of books Garner had published before he began his study of apes and monkeys, there is little material that reflects his personal life or his work before about 1890. These papers, covering the period of 1891 to 1941, contain a diary, correspondence, articles written for magazines, manuscripts, poetry, notes, data collected on chimpanzees, financial records, legal records, maps, biographical material, artwork, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Many facets of Richard Lynch Garner's life and work as an early animal behaviorist observing primates in Africa are represented in these papers. Other than a few notebooks of poems and manuscripts of books Garner had published before he began his study of apes and monkeys, there is little material that reflects his personal life or his work before about 1890. These papers, covering the period of 1891 to 1941, contain a diary, correspondence, articles written for magazines, manuscripts, poetry, notes, data collected on chimpanzees, financial records, legal records, maps, biographical material, artwork, and photographs.
Many of Garner's observations and writings on the study of the languages of apes are included in this collection. Also included in these papers are comments, notes and essays written by Garner on the French administration of the Congo, on missionaries living in Africa and on the natives themselves. Many, but not all of Garner's writings have been published. Abstracts of many of his articles can be found in the folder "Synopses." Garner also created indices to his works, which may be helpful in navigating his writings.
Psychoscope
, a book of poems by Garner, was published in 1891 and can be found in this collection along with his other poems. His manuscripts and poems are arranged alphabetically.
Of special interest in this collection is the diary Garner kept while in the French Congo. The diary covers the period of January, 1905 to February, 1906. Also in the collection are data that he collected on chimpanzees, records of his financial transactions with the natives (including the purchase of animals), and rough sketch maps of American Point and Cameroun. The folder "Artwork" contains oil, pen, and pencil drawings of animals, likely intended to illustrate Garner's writings. Among the photographs in the collection are images of Garner, African people, and some of the animals Garner worked with, in particular Susie, his chimpanzee.
Harrington's completed biography on Garner as well as his research notes, reference materials, and drafts can also be found in this collection. In addition, the collection contains obituaries for Garner, presumably collected by his son, Henry. Two letters from Henry Garner to Harrington can be found under "Incoming Correspondence." Most of the outgoing correspondence are addressed to Garner's son.

Arrangement
Arrangement
There is no discernible arrangement to the collection.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Garner, an authority on primitive language, took up the study and investigation of the language, life and habits of anthropoid apes after he realized the usefulness of the phonograph for recording primate communication. According to Harrington, Mr. Garner was the discoverer and initiator of the study of the language of apes, and his work was posthumously proven valid by Robert Mearns Yerkes in approximately 1925.
Chronology
February 19, 1848
Born in Abingdon, Virginia
1862
Joined the Third Tennessee Mounted infantry
Educated at the Jefferson Institute, Tennessee
October 15, 1872
Married Margaret E. Gross
1876-1890
Worked as a school teacher
1884
Began recording monkey language with a phonograph
Visited the Cincinnati Zoological Garden, his first ever visit to a zoo.
1892
Published
The Speech of Monkeys
Made first of several trips to the French Congo. Sailed from New York to the French Congo to live in a cage among primates at Lake Fernan Vaz
1900
Published
Apes and Monkeys
1905
Had a house built on an island in Lake Fernan Vaz, French Congo
1916 - 1919
Under the Smithsonian Institution, made last expedition to the French Congo
January 22, 1920
Died in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Selected Bibliography
1892
Garner, Richard Lynch.
The Speech of Monkeys
. New York: C. L. Webster and Company, 1892.
1896
Garner, Richard Lynch.
Gorillas & Chimpanzees
. London: Osgood, McIlvaine & Co, 1896.
c1900
Garner, Richard Lynch.
Apes and Monkeys; Their Life and Language
. Boston and London: Ginn & Company, c1900. [Includes parts of
Gorillas and Chimpanzees
]
c1930
Garner, Richard Lynch.
Autobiography of a Boy; from the Letters of Richard Lynch Garner. An Introduction by Aleš Hrdlička
. Washington: Huff Duplicating Co., 1930.

Administration
Processing Information
Minimally processed.
Processed by Maria Fisher, December 1976
Encoded by Jocelyn Baltz, July 2012
Author
Maria Fisher
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Richard Lynch Garner, early animal behaviorist and expedition leader on occasion for the Smithsonian Institution, were given to Dr. John P. Harrington by Garner's son, Henry. Harrington completed a biography of Garner in 1941. Garner's papers originally entered the National Anthropological Archives as a part of the papers of Harrington, and have since been separated to form their own collection.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The Richard Lynch Garner papers are open for research.
Preferred Citation
Richard Lynch Garner papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
Other materials at the National Anthropological Archives that relate to Garner can be found in the correspondence of John P. Harrington and Aleš Hrdlička and in the USNM Division of Ethnology Manuscript and Pamphlet File. Garner's lantern slides can be found in Photo Lot 81-58A and Photo Lot 92-46.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Gabon Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Language and languages -- Documentation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chimpanzees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Primates -- Behavior Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/