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The papers of Oliver Perry Hay consist of incoming correspondence, mostly concerning paleontological issues; and notes, drawings, bibliographies, photographs, and related material regarding Hay's research on the Pleistocene vertebrata of North America. Materials of special interest include correspondence concerning Pleistocene fossil discoveries at Vero Beach, Florida, 1917, and Frederick, Oklahoma, 1927.
In 1912, Oliver Perry Hay (1846-1930) was appointed research associate at the Carnegie Institution of Washington to pursue the study of the vertebrate animal life of the North American Pleistocene period. Hay was furnished with office space in the United States National Museum (USNM) to conduct his research. In addition, he assisted in working up and describing the USNM collections in vertebrate paleontology.
Hay's primary scientific interest was the study of the Pleistocene vertebrata of North America. His major contribution to the field of vertebrate paleontology was his Bibliography and Catalogue of the Fossil Vertebrata of North America, 1902, supplemented by the Second Bibliography and Catalogue of Fossil Vertebrata of North America, 2 vols., 1929-1930. Other important works include The Fossil Turtles of North America, 1908, and The Pleistocene Geology of North America and its Vertebrated Animals, 3 vols., 1923-1927.
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