General Correspondence,
1910-1973

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7309
Creators:
Systematic Entomology Laboratory
Dates:
1910-1973
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
25 cu. ft. (50 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection contains the official correspondence of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA, and its predecessors, 1925 to 1973. The correspondence, which is both incoming and outgoing, mostly concerns the identification of specimens sent to the USDA for determination. Smaller amounts of correspondence document research projects of USDA taxonomists; the preparation of scientific publications; field work; and professional activities. Correspondents include domestic and foreign entomologists, government scientists, university professors, and USDA staff. Outgoing correspondence is usually signed by the USDA Entomologist in charge of the Division. Correspondence pre-dating 1925 primarily documents the professional career of Sievert Allen Rohwer and includes letters relating to his duties as Custodian of Hymenoptera, United States National Museum.
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for the identification of insect specimens. Its work provides basic support for biological control projects, environmental studies, and research activities of federal and state agencies and other organizations. SEL scientists are also active in research focused upon insect groups of economic importance to American agriculture. SEL maintains offices and laboratories at the National Museum of Natural History and at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland.
Taxonomic work in entomology at the USDA was given separate status in 1925 with the creation of the Division of Taxonomic Investigation. Sievert Allen Rohwer was placed in charge of the Division. Prior to 1925 taxonomic work was performed by the Entomologist of the USDA, his staff, or outside specialists. During its sixty-one year history, the section responsible for entomological taxonomy at the USDA has undergone numerous administrative reorganizations and name changes. Over most of those years it has had four titles: Division of Taxonomic Investigation, 1925-1934; Division of Insect Identification, 1934-1952; Insect Identification and Parasite Introduction Research Branch, 1959-1972; and Systematic Entomology Laboratory, 1972- . The period 1952 to 1959 witnessed several name changes. USDA entomologists in charge of taxonomic work have included Rohwer, 1925-1927; Harold Morrison, 1927-1935; Carl Frederick William Muesebeck, 1935-1954; Paul W. Oman, 1954-1960; William H. Anderson, 1960-1966; Reese I. Sailor, 1967-1972; and Richard H. Foote, 1972-1976.

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7309, General Correspondence

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Rohwer, Sievert Allen Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morrison, Harold Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muesebeck, Carl F. W. (Carl Frederick William), 1894- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oman, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anderson, William Henry, 1908- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sailer, R. I. (Reece Ivan), 1915- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foote, Richard H. (Richard Herbert), 1918- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of Agriculture Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Insects Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of Agriculture. Division of Insect Identification Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of Agriculture. Insect Identification and Parasite Introduction Research Branch Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Entomologists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Entomology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hymenoptera Topic 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