Collection ID:
Record Unit 325
National Museum of Natural History, Division of Echinoderms and Lower Invertebrates
Physical Description:
4.2 linear meters.
Smithsonian Institution Archives

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

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records consist primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence of the curatorial staff of the Division of Echinoderms, 1907-1980. Most of the correspondence dates from 1965, with a small amount created before that date. Some photographs and slides 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; publication of manuscripts; professional activities; and museum and divisional administration. Subjects of special interest that are documented in the correspondence include collections made by the B.C.F.-A.E.C. investigations at the mouth of the Columbia River; abstracts for the Third Echinoderm Conference in Australia, 1978; summary of the Isla Malpelo Trip; a brief Station list from the Ross Sea Oceanographic Survey, summer 1958-1959; Station records from the Smithsonian Institution Bredin Expedition to the Society and Tuamotu Islands, April and May 1957; a report of the Committee on Ecological Effects of a Sea Level Canal; and a sea floor mosaic.
Curators represented by correspondence in these records include Austin Hobart Clark, collaborator, assistant curator, and curator, 1908-1950; David L. Pawson, associate curator, supervisor, and curator, 1964- ; Klaus Ruetzler, associate curator and curator, 1965- ; and Frederick N. Bayer, visiting curator and curator, 1972- ; Maureen E. Downey, museum specialist, 1963- .
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The origins of the collections of echinoderms under the care of the Smithsonian Institution can be traced to the collections received from the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, 1853-1856, which in 1858 were placed in the care of J. M. Barnard for study and description. In 1861, Louis Agassiz and William Stimpson examined the entire Smithsonian collection of echinoderms. Theodore Lyman, a student of Agassiz, began publishing papers on the brittlestars in the Smithsonian collection in 1858. Beginning in the early 1880's, voluminous amounts of echinoderms were added to the National collections as a result of dredging work conducted by the United States Fish Commission. These collections were reported on by Addison E. Verrill, Katharine J. Bush, Hubert Ludwig, Hubert L. Clark, Charles L. Edwards, and Alexander Agassiz.
From 1880 until 1920, the study and curation of the United States National Museum (USNM) collection of echinoderms was under the administrative direction of the Division of Marine Invertebrates. In 1920 the collection of echinoderms was removed from Marine Invertebrates to form a new Division of Echinoderms. Austin H. Clark, who had served since 1908 as collaborator and assistant curator in the Division of Marine Invertebrates, was appointed curator and remained in the position until his retirement in 1950. At that time, the Division of Echinoderms ceased to exist as an administrative entity and the collections reverted to the administrative care of the Division of Marine Invertebrates. On July 1, 1965, the Division of Echinoderms was reformed as a division of the newly created Department of Invertebrate Zoology.
Professional staff of the present Division of Echinoderms includes David L. Pawson, associate curator, 1964-1969, curator, 1969- ; Klaus Ruetzler, associate curator, 1965-1973, curator, 1973; and Frederick M. Bayer, visiting curator, 1972-1975, curator, 1975- .

SI Records

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 325, National Museum of Natural History, Division of Echinoderms and Lower Invertebrates, Records

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ruetzler, Klaus. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pawson, David L. (David Leo), 1938- Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bayer, Frederick M. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History. Division of Echinoderms Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Division of Echinoderms (NMNH) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Echinodermata Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
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