These papers consist chiefly of incoming correspondence from the USNM, the Smithsonian Institution, and shell collectors; correspondence between scientists other than Stearns concerning publications, publication revision, and shell collections; scrapbooks containing correspondence, memoranda, labels, and cards collected while Stearns was an Assistant Curator; specimen labels donated to the USNM; handwritten and printed drafts for articles, including a preliminary report on the fossils at San Diego, and the original drawings and draft for Anodontas of the West Coast; and autobiographical materials.
Robert Edwards Carter Stearns (1827-1909) was a public figure of some prominence whose careers included mining, publishing, and the natural sciences. A lover of nature since childhood, Stearns concentrated on conchology, mostly mollusks of the West Coast. Stearns was a researcher for the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, 1882-1884; an Assistant Curator, Department of Mollusks, United States National Museum (USNM); and a Paleontologist for the United States Geological Survey, 1884-1892.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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