Records,
circa 1947-1974 and undated
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 424
Creators:
National Museum of Natural History. Division of Vertebrate Paleontology
Dates:
circa 1947-1974 and undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
6.15 cu. ft. (6 record storage boxes) (1 3x5 box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence documenting the operation of the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, circa 1955-1974. Also included are plans of operation, circa 1947-1960; public inquiries for identification of specimens and information; and glass plate negatives which document the field work of Frederick William True and James W. Gidley, as well as paleontological exhibits.
Curators represented by correspondence include Charles Lewis Gazin, David H. Dunkle, Clayton E. Ray, Nicholas Hotton III, and Robert J. Emry.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Work in vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian Institution predates the formal establishment of a Department of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1887. Joseph Leidy and Edward Drinker Cope, among others, studied the fossil collections which had been gathered by the various government exploring expeditions and sent to the Smithsonian. With the reorganization of the United States National Museum, 1880, the Department of Comparative Anatomy was given charge of the collections until the creation of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1887, with Othniel Charles Marsh as Honorary Curator. Since its creation, the Department has undergone a number of organizational and title changes.
In 1894, the Department became a Section of the Department of Paleontology. The reorganization of 1897 created a Division of Stratigraphic Paleontology in the Department of Geology, and Vertebrate Paleontology was made a Section of that Division. It became a separate Division in 1908 but in 1911 was again made a Section, this time in the Division of Paleontology. In 1924 this Division was renamed the Division of Stratigraphic Paleontology and Vertebrate Paleontology again became a Division. The Department of Geology was divided in 1963 into Departments of Mineral Sciences and Paleobiology, with Vertebrate Paleontology a Division of the latter.
Since Marsh's death in 1889, curators of the Division have included Frederic Augustus Lucas, intermittently from 1889 to 1904; Charles W. Gilmore, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1911-1923, and Curator, 1923-1945; and James W. Gidley, Assistant Curator, 1911-1931. Charles Lewis Gazin, Assistant and Associate Curator, 1932-1946, was appointed Curator following Gilmore's death. Later staff included Associate Curators David H. Dunkle and Peter P. Vaughn, 1946-1967, and 1957-1959, respectively; Nicholas Hotton III, Associate Curator, 1959-1968, and Curator, 1969- ; Clayton E. Ray, Associate Curator, 1964-1968, Supervisor and Curator, 1968-1971, and Curator, 1971- ; and Robert J. Emry, Associate Curator, 1971-1981, and Curator, 1982- .

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 424, National Museum of Natural History. Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
True, Frederick William, 1858-1914 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gidley, James Williams, 1866-1931 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gazin, C. Lewis (Charles Lewis), 1904-1996 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dunkle, David Hosbrook Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ray, Clayton Edward Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hotton, Nicholas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Emry, Robert J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vaughn, Peter Paul, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Geology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Paleobiology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleontology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific expeditions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleontologists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass negatives Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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