This accession consists of the records of curator emeritus Richard W. Thorington (1937-2017), who specialized in systematics, evolution, anatomy, and functional morphology in mammals, especially of primates and squirrels. The records primarily document Thorington's curatorial activities in the Division of Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History in regard to field work, research, publications, professional societies, lecturing, committees, collections management and when he served as Chairman of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology (1987-1992) and as Director of the Smithsonian Primate Biology Program. Records that predate Thorington's career at the Smithsonian Institution pertain to his activities as primatologist at Harvard University's New England Regional Primate Research Center (NERPRC), 1964-1969; as Chairman of the NERPRC Division of Primatology, 1966-1969; as Associate in Mammalogy at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1964-1970; and when he was an undergraduate student at Princeton University (1956-1959), followed by graduate studies in biology at Harvard University where he earned a doctorate degree in 1964. Also represented in these records is primatologist John Russell Napier, Director of the Smithsonian Primate Biology Program, who was succeeded by Thorington.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and notes; grant proposals; reports; contracts and agreements; research publications, data, and analyses; field work and laboratory notebooks; meeting agendas and minutes; book reviews; budget summaries; information about conferences, symposiums, committees, workshops, surveys, and conservation biology programs; visitor books; lecture papers and presentation material; photographs, slides, and negatives; awards; newsletters, articles, newspapers, and clippings; exhibition and loan information; brochures; maps; scientific illustrations and drawings; floor plans; posters; videotapes; audiotapes; and supporting documentation. Some materials are in electronic format.