Asa Fitch Notebooks,
circa 1827-1872

Collection ID:
Record Unit 7124
Fitch, Asa, 1809-1879
circa 1827-1872
Physical Description:
1 cu. ft. (2 document box)
Smithsonian Institution Archives

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

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection consists of five volumes of notes of observations, some rearing data, and information copied from other sources and researchers; a few illustrations; and some notes and marginalia by later users of the notebooks. The notebooks are arranged roughly by orders and families of insects; species are usually described separately, with dates of observation, anatomy, coloration, and habitats given. Dates of observation often vary widely within each volume, most often ranging between 1830 and 1860. Some specimens were supplied by correspondents. There are also occasional notes on practical remedies for insect pests.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Asa Fitch (1809-1879), the founder of economic entomology in America, was trained in medicine, which he practiced briefly. Fitch was largely self-taught in entomology. In 1838 he abandoned his medical practice and devoted himself to entomological studies, to such good effect that in 1854 he was appointed State Entomologist of New York. His appointment marked the first serious attention to be paid to insect damage in the United States. Fitch's studies, largely confined to New York, were extremely thorough and made a great impression on Charles Valentine Riley and other members of the generation of entomologists to follow Fitch.

Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7124, Asa Fitch Notebooks

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Fitch, Asa, 1809-1879 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Riley, Charles V. (Charles Valentine), 1843-1895 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Entomology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Insect pests Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Entomologists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
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