Correspondence,
1936, 1938, 1948-1977 and undated

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 266
Creators:
National Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Mineral Sciences
Dates:
1936, 1938, 1948-1977 and undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.3 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 record unit consists of correspondence documenting the operation of the Department of Mineral Sciences, 1963-1977, and its predecessor the Division of Mineralogy and Petrology of the Department of Geology, 1948-1963. With the exception of a few letters, correspondence of the Division of Mineralogy and Petrology prior to 1948 is not included in the record unit. The correspondence is both incoming and outgoing and concerns the identification and acquisition of specimens; participation in professional societies and mineral exhibitions; the publication of scientific manuscripts; and departmental and divisional administration. Correspondents include geologists and mineralogists, gemologists, jewelers, mineral collectors and dealers, colleges and universities, mining companies, publishers, government agencies, and the general public. Correspondence prior to 1963 is mostly directed to Curator George S. Switzer and Associate Curator Paul E. Desautels. Correspondence after 1963 is primarily carried out by Departmental Chairmen Switzer, Brian H. Mason, and William G. Melson. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Department of Mineral Sciences was created in 1963 as part of a reorganization in the National Museum of Natural History. At that time the Department of Geology was divided into two new departments, with the Division of Mineralogy and Petrology becoming the Department of Mineral Sciences and the Divisions of Invertebrate Paleontology and Paleobotany and Vertebrate Paleontology joined to form the Department of Paleobiology. George S. Switzer become the first chairman of the Department of Mineral Sciences in 1963 and served until 1968. Other incumbents included Brian H. Mason, 1968-1973; and William G. Melson, 1973-1978. Staff of the Division of Mineralogy and Petrology included William F. Foshag, assistant curator, 1919-1929, curator, 1929-1948, and acting curator, 1948-1956; Edward P. Henderson, associate curator, 1942-1963 (Henderson also served as assistant curator in the Division of Physical and Chemical Geology from 1929 to 1942); George S. Switzer, associate curator, 1948-1956, acting curator, 1957, and curator, 1958-1963; Paul E. Desautels, associate curator, 1957-1963; and Roy S. Clarke, Jr., chemist, 1957-1963. In 1963 Henderson and Clarke were assigned to the Division of Meteorites, and Desautels to the Division of Mineralogy. Therefore, after 1963, they are not represented in this correspondence.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 266, National Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Mineral Sciences, Correspondence

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Desautels, Paul E. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mason, Brian Harold, 1917- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Melson, William G., 1938- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Switzer, George, 1915- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Division of Mineralogy and Petrology (NMNH). Department of Geology (NMNH) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Department of Mineral Sciences (NMNH). Division of Meteorites (NMNH) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mineralogy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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