Frederick William True Papers,
circa 1886-1910
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7181
Creators:
True, Frederick William, 1858-1914
Dates:
circa 1886-1910
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2 cu. ft. (4 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This record unit contains correspondence of Frederick William True with zoologists, naturalists, museum officials, Smithsonian administrators, and friends concerning specimens, publication of manuscripts, exhibitions, his trip to the Pribilof Islands in 1895, and USNM affairs. Also included are files concerning the preparation of exhibits, material related to True's studies of fossil whales, and his trip to the Pribilof Islands in 1895, as well as a series on True's research on deer and moose antlers, a list of the genera of mammals, and a list True wrote of scientific periodicals held at the Smithsonian Institution.
Correspondents include Cyrus Adler, Glover Morrill Allen, Harrison Allen, Joel Asaph Allen, Outram Bangs, Tarleton Hoffman Bean, Arthur Erwin Brown, A. Howard Clark, William V. Cox, John J. Dalgleish, William H. Dall, George M. Dawson, Charles Rochester Eastman, James W. Flint, Randolph Iltyd Geare, Herbert A. Gill, George Brown Goode, Samuel Henshaw, Charles F. Holder, William Henry Holmes, Leland Ossian Howard, David Starr Jordan, Frederic Augustus Lucas, John Macoun, Otis Tufton Mason, William D. Matthew, Clinton Hart Merriam, George P. Merrill, Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr., Henry Fairfield Osborn, William Palmer, George Henry Perkins, John Robert Procter, Richard Rathbun, Samuel Nicholson Rhoads, Charles Wallace Richmond, Philip Lutley Sclater, William B. Scott, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Leonhard Stejneger, Witmer Stone, James G. Swan, Charles Haskins Townsend, Charles D. Walcott, Arthur Smith Woodward.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Frederick William True was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on July 8, 1858. His brother was Alfred Charles True, a leader in American agricultural education. True attended the University of the City of New York and received his B.S. degree in 1878. Later that year, he received a position as a clerk with the United States Fish Commission. While with the Fish Commission, he served as custodian of the agency's exhibits at the Berlin Fisheries Exposition of 1880.
In 1881, he joined the Smithsonian Institution and began an association that lasted until his death in 1914. During that period, he held a number of positions in the Smithsonian and in the United States National Museum (USNM). From 1881 to 1883, he was librarian of the Smithsonian and acting curator of Mammals. He became curator of Mammals in 1883 and remained in charge of the division until 1909. In addition to those duties, he was curator of the Division of Comparative Anatomy from 1885 to 1890, executive curator from 1894 to 1897, and head of the Department of Biology from 1897 to 1911. From 1911 to 1914, True was assistant secretary of the Smithsonian in charge of the library and International Exchange Service. During this period, the Smithsonian Institution was actively engaged in displaying exhibits at the many expositions that were being held. True was responsible for the preparation of the Smithsonian exhibits for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition at Nashville, 1897; the Omaha Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898; the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, New York, 1901; the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition at Charleston, 1902; the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 at St. Louis; and the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition at Portland, Oregon.
True originally began his zoological studies with the lower groups of animals, but bad eyesight forced him to revise his plans and he turned to the study of mammals. His particular speciality was cetaceans and allied groups. Later, he took up the study of fossil cetaceans, and in addition to publishing many important works in the field, helped build up the USNM's collection in this area. True died on June 25, 1914.

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7181, Frederick William True Papers

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
True, Frederick William, 1858-1914 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adler, Cyrus, 1863-1940 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Glover M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Harrison, 1841-1897 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bangs, Outram, 1862-1932 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bean, Tarleton H. (Tarleton Hoffman), 1846-1916 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Arthur Erwin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clark, A. Howard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cox, William Van Zandt, 1852-1923 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dalgleish, John J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dall, William Healey, 1845-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dawson, George Mercer Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastman, Charles R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flint, James W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geare, Randolph Iltyd, 1854- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gill, Herbert A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goode, G. Brown (George Brown), 1851-1896 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henshaw, Samuel, 1852-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holder, Charles Frederick, 1851-1915 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holmes, William Henry, 1846-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Howard, L. O. (Leland Ossian), 1857-1950 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lucas, Frederic A. (Frederic Augustus), 1852-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Macoun, John, 1831-1920 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mason, Otis Tufton, 1838-1908 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matthew, William D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Merriam, C. Hart (Clinton Hart), 1855-1942 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Merrill, George P. (George Perkins), 1854-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miller, Gerrit S. (Gerrit Smith), 1869-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palmer, William, 1856-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Perkins, George H. (George Henry), 1844-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Procter, John Robert, 1844-1903 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rathbun, Richard, 1852-1918 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rhoads, Samuel N. (Samuel Nicholson), 1862-1952 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richmond, Charles Wallace, 1868-1932 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sclater, Philip Lutley, 1829-1913 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scott, William B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stanley-Brown, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stejneger, Leonhard, 1851-1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stone, Witmer, 1866-1939 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Swan, James Gilchrist Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Townsend, Charles Haskins Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woodward, Arthur Smith, 1864-1944 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Executive Curator Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Committee on Publications Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States Fish Commission Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Mammals Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Comparative Anatomy Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Botany Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. International Exchange Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Berlin International Fisheries Exposition (1880: Berlin, Germany) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mammalogists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mammalogy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum techniques Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleontology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleontologists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pribilof Islands (Alaska) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrations Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific illustrations Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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