This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
These records consist of the correspondence of both Conger and Mann with botanists, diatomists, and other colleagues. The files were apparently begun by Mann, and then used and retained by Conger, who continued many of the same associations. Correspondence concerns specimens, identifications, laboratory administration, equipment, publications, research projects and summer work at Woods Hole; Dry Tortugas, Florida; Trout Lake, Wisconsin; and Solomons Island, Maryland. Also included are notes, annual and other reports, articles and papers, and the notes and manuscript of Conger's "Thomas Christian and the Diatomists of Richmond."
Paul S. Conger (1897-1979) was a botanist who specialized in the study of diatoms, microscopic components of plankton. He was the protege of Albert Mann (1853-1935), diatomist of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW). Mann was employed by the CIW but maintained his office and laboratory at the United States National Museum (USNM) where he also held the title of honorary custodian of diatoms, 1913-1935. In 1922 Conger joined the staff of the Carnegie Institution and worked as Mann's assistant in the lab at the USNM. After Mann's death, Conger retained his affiliation with the CIW, serving as research associate, 1935-1943. Concurrently he was named honorary custodian of diatoms at the USNM, 1935-1943; then associate curator, 1944-1966; and botanist emeritus of cryptogams, 1967-1979.
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