These records consist primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence of the curatorial staff of the Division of Crustacea, 1965-1979, and its predecessor, the Division of Marine Invertebrates, 1908-1965. Most of the correspondence dates from 1937, with a small amount created before that date. A few photographs and manuscripts are included in the records and are noted in the folder listing. The correspondence concerns the identification, exchange, and distribution of specimens; collecting work and expeditions; the publication of manuscripts; professional activities; and museum and divisional administration. Subjects of special interest that are documented in the correspondence include several Arctic expeditions conducted by Robert A. Bartlett, 1925-1935; the proposed Pacific Islands Scientific Expedition under the auspices of the National Geographic Society and the University of Virginia, 1939-1940; Smithsonian participation on the Pacific Science Board of the National Research Council, 1953; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska King Crab Investigation, 1940; and special research conducted by the Division as part of the Smithsonian war effort, circa 1941-1945.
Curators represented by correspondence in these records include Waldo LaSalle Schmitt, Curator, 1920-1947; Clarence R. Shoemaker, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1921-1944; Mildred S. Wilson, Assistant Curator, 1944-1946; Fenner A. Chace, Jr., Curator, 1946-1963; Paul Louis Illg, Associate Curator, 1947-1952; Frederick Merkle Bayer, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1947-1961; Thomas E. Bowman, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1954- ; Charles E. Cutress, Jr., Associate Curator and Curator, 1961-1965; Marian H. Pettibone, Associate Curator, 1963-1965; Raymond B. Manning, Associate Curator and Curator, 1963- ; David L. Pawson, Associate Curator, 1964-1965; Meredith Leam Jones, Associate Curator, 1964-1965; W. Duane Hope, Associate Curator, 1964-1965; J. Laurens Barnard, Associate Curator and Curator, 1964- ; Roger F. Cressey, Jr., Associate Curator and Curator, 1965- ; and Louis S. Kornicker, Associate Curator and Curator, 1965- .