Charles Lewis Gazin Papers,
1901-1984 and undated
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7314
Creators:
Gazin, C. Lewis (Charles Lewis), 1904-1996
Dates:
1901-1984 and undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
23.91 cu. ft. (45 document boxes) (2 16x20 boxes) (1 oversize folder)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

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

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
The Charles Lewis Gazin Papers document his professional career during his tenure at the Smithsonian, 1932-1984, and, to a slight extent, his graduate work, 1927-1930. Several aspects of Gazin's career receive extensive documentation in the papers: his administrative and curatorial duties at the Smithsonian; his field work and study trips; his research and publication in vertebrate paleontology, especially early mammals; his involvement with professional organizations; his activities with colleagues in the scientific community; and his interactions with the public. There are also correspondence, records, and papers of other scientists, some predating Gazin's career, which he apparently collected. The papers contain very little concerning his personal life.
Gazin maintained a voluminous correspondence documenting most aspects of his professional career. Most of the correspondence, including Smithsonian memoranda, and exchanges with colleagues and the public, is located in Series 1. However, a sizable amount, usually concerning specific subjects and organizations, is distributed throughout the collection.
Materials associated with Gazin's administration of the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology are similarly dispersed. Those reflecting the day-to-day operations of the Division, such as memoranda, reports, budget notes, and informational publications, are concentrated in Series 2. The curatorial work of the Division is documented by records of specimen loans; photographs of specimen preparation and mounting; and memoranda, scripts, inventories, and drawings relating to the design and presentation of exhibits. Comprehensive discussion of Division activities is available in the Annual Reports, dating to 1906, which also document Charles W. Gilmore's tenure in the Division. These are located in Series 3.
Records of Gazin's frequent field expeditions include accounts of expenses; lists of collected specimens; photographs; and, sporadically, field diaries and narrative reports. As with other Division activities, the Annual Reports consistently provide the most complete descriptions of expeditions. Comprehensive coverage of Gazin's grant-sponsored museum trips and field work, including research proposals, progress reports, itineraries, and correspondence, can be found in the National Science Foundation files within Series 8.
Gazin's research is further documented by notes, drafts, and manuscripts relating to his publications and talks. Of note are the files relating to "Mammalian Faunal Zones of Bridger Eocene" (see Bridger Zones files) and "A Study of the Eocene Condylarthran Mammal Hyopsodus" (see Hyopsodus files) which record the progression of the papers from notes to printer's copies. Associated with Gazin's manuscripts are the scientific illustrations prepared for them. See Series 11.
Material reflecting Gazin's participation in professional societies is mostly located in the organization files located in Series 5. Those societies in which Gazin was long and actively involved, such as the American Geological Institute, the Geological Society of America, and the Washington Academy of Sciences, are represented extensively by correspondence, memoranda, reports, minutes of meetings, and circulars, which in effect, document periods of their history.
A few organizations are represented in separate series. These records pertain to Gazin's research through the National Science Foundation (NSF), and his reviews of research proposals submitted to NSF (Series 8); his various positions with the Earth Sciences Division of the National Research Council (Series 7); and his long-standing service to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) (Series 6). Correspondence, manuscripts, and charts included in the SVP files document the collective efforts of Gazin and his SVP colleagues to define and correlate, by the incidence of vertebrate fossils, the geologic formations of the North American continental Tertiary.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Charles Lewis Gazin (1904-1996) was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Raised on the west coast, his first acquaintance with prehistoric animals took place on a childhood visit to the Los Angeles County Museum. As a student at the California Institute of Technology (CIT), he pursued a general interest in geology, receiving the B.S. degree in 1927 and the M.S. degree in 1928. In his graduate work, culminating in a Ph.D. earned at CIT in 1930, he focused on the study of vertebrate paleontology, his lifelong interest.
Gazin's long tenure in government service began in 1930 with his appointment as Junior Geologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). While assisting USGS geologists in studying and mapping geologic regions in Montana, Idaho, and California, Gazin also collected Miocene fossils for the United States National Museum (USNM). In 1932, he became Assistant Curator in the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology at the USNM. Gazin served in that capacity until 1942 when, although maintaining a formal association with the Division as Associate Curator, he took a military leave from the Museum to participate actively in the war effort. Rising in rank from 1st Lieutenant to Major in the U. S. Army Air Force, he taught at the Air Force Intelligence School and also worked in radar intelligence, for which he received the Legion of Merit in 1946.
Gazin returned to the USNM in 1946 as Curator of the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, a position he held until 1967. During 1967 he served as Acting Chairman of the Department of Paleobiology, before being named Senior Paleontologist. From 1970 to 1982 Gazin served as Paleobiologist Emeritus and from 1982 to 1984, as Curator Emeritus.
Gazin's research interests concern the vertebrate paleontology of the Tertiary and Quaternary of continental North America. Together with his responsibility for collecting fossil material for the Smithsonian, these interests spurred considerable field work over his career. Between 1934 and 1969, except during World War II, Gazin led field expeditions nearly every summer. Though he explored and excavated in much of the western United States, his efforts were concentrated on Hagerman, Idaho; southwestern Wyoming; central and northeastern Utah; San Juan Basin, New Mexico; San Pedro Valley, Arizona; and Huerfano and Denver Basins, Colorado. From these and other arid locales, he recovered prodigious quantities of mammalian fossils of Paleocene to Pleistocene age, in addition to fossils of Cretaceous dinosaurs and lizards. Most of the 99 works listed in his bibliography, and nearly all of his longer publications, whether describing regional faunal assemblages or focusing on particular varieties of early mammals, are based upon this extensive field work in the Rocky Mountain West.
During the winters of 1950 and 1951, Gazin conducted field work in Panama, returning to the Smithsonian with approximately ten tons of Pleistocene mammal specimens. Principal among them were two skeletons of the giant ground sloth Eremotherium, exhibited since at the National Museum of Natural History.
In 1960 Gazin received a four-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that he extended into a seven-year study of early Tertiary mammals. Under the grant, he made four field expeditions, mostly to Wyoming; trips to study museum specimens and fossil localities in Europe during 1960 and Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Argentina in 1962; and numerous visits to inspect specimens in museums and universities in the United States. Gazin's study produced three major papers, published in the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, as well as several shorter articles. With a second NSF grant, received jointly with Waldo R. Wedel of the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology in 1961, Gazin participated in the collection and study of Pleistocene and recent mammals found in association with human artifacts near Littleton, Colorado.
Gazin also took an active role in several professional organizations. He was a charter member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, serving as its President, 1949-1950; representative to the National Research Council, 1948-1951, 1957-1960; and on several committees working to define and correlate the North American continental Tertiary. He assisted in drafting the constitution of the American Geological Institute and served as Director, 1956-1958, and 1962. He also chaired the National Research Council committee on postdoctoral fellowships in the earth sciences, 1960-1963.

Chronology
Chronology
June 18, 1904
born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
1927
married Alice Van Dusen; had three children
1927
B.S., with honors, California Institute of Technology
1927
field work in Santa Barbara County, California
1928
M.S., CIT
1928, 1929
field work in eastern Oregon and northeastern Nevada
1930
field work in San Pedro Valley, Arizona
1930
first prize, best pre-doctoral presentation, Cordilleron Section, Geological Society of America
1930
Doctor of Philosophy, CIT
1930
appointed Junior Geologist, USGS
1930
field work for USGS in western Montana and northern Idaho
1930-1931
geologic mapping of San Andreas fault zone in southern California for USGS; fossil collecting in the Cajon Pass and Palmdale area, California, for the USNM
1931
geologic mapping in Kettleman Hills, California, for USGS
1932
field work in Death Valley, California, for USGS
1932
appointed Assistant Curator, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, USNM
1934
field work in southern Idaho
1936
field work in Arizona and San Juan Basin, New Mexico
1938
field work in central and northeastern Utah
1938-1940
Editor, Washington Academy of Sciences
1939
field work in central Utah
1940
field work in central Utah and southwestern Wyoming
1940
USNM delegate to 8th American Scientific Congress
1941
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1942
divorced Alice van Dusen Gazin
1942
appointed Associate Curator, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, USNM
1942-1945
1st Lieutenant to Major, United States Army Air Force (Intelligence)
1943
married Elizabeth Parker Hobbs
1946
appointed Curator, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, USNM
1946
member, Editorial Board, Geological Society of America
1946
field work in central Utah and southwestern Wyoming
1946-1948
Secretary, Washington Academy of Sciences
1947
helped draft constitution, American Geological Institute (AGI)
1947
Incorporator, AGI, representing the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP)
1947
Field work in Huerfano Basin, Colorado
1948-1949
Member, USNM Committee on Modernization of Exhibits
1948-1951
Member, Division of Geology and Geography, National Research Council (NRC), representing the SVP
1949
Field work in San Juan Basin, New Mexico, and western Wyoming
1949-1950
President, SVP
1949-1951
Member, Board of Managers, Washington Academy of Sciences
1950
field work in the interior of Panama
1950-1951
Member, Executive Committee, Division of Geology and Geography, NRC
1951
field work in the interior of Panama
1951
field work in Strait Canyon, West Virginia
1951
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1952-1966
Member, SVP Cenozoic Committee
1952-1966
Chairman, SVP Eocene Subcommittee
1953
field work in southwestern Wyoming and northeastern Utah
1954
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1956
field work in Wyoming and Nebraska
1956
Smithsonian delegate to the 20th International Geological Congress, Mexico City
1956-1958
Member, USNM Space Requirements Planning Committee for wings for the Natural History Building
1956-1958
Director, AGI
1957
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1957-1960
Member, Earth Sciences Division, NRC, representing the SVP
1959
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1960
received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for "Early Tertiary Mammals of America"
1960
Smithsonian delegate to the 21st International Geological Congress in Copenhagen and to symposia on early mammals in Brussels and Oxford
1960
study trip to museums and fossil localities in France, Spain, Switzerland, West Germany, Austria, Belgium, and England
1960-1963
Chairman, NRC Committee on Postdoctoral Fellowships in Earth Sciences
1960-1963
Member, NRC Physical Sciences Committee
1961 received, with Waldo R. Wedel, NSF funding for "A Late Pleistocene Fauna and Possible Human Associations near Littleton, Colorado"
1961
field work in southwestern Wyoming; Littleton, Colorado; and Pipestone Springs, Montana
1962
Director, AGI
1962
study trip to museums and fossil localities in Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, and Guatemala
1963
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1964
field work in San Juan Basin, New Mexico, and southwestern Wyoming
1964-1966
Member and Alternate, Evaluation Committee, National Museum of Natural History
1965
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1965
survey and evaluation of the Childs Frick Corporation collection of fossil vertebrates in New York
1967
Acting Chairman, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
1967
Chairman, Nominating Committee, SVP
1967
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1967-1970
Senior Paleobiologist, NMNH
1969
field work in southwestern Wyoming
1970
retired from NMNH
1970
named Paleobiologist Emeritus
1982-1984
names Curator Emeritus
1996
Death

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7314, Charles Lewis Gazin Papers

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Gazin, C. Lewis (Charles Lewis), 1904-1996 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Research Council (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Science Foundation (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Geological Institute Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geological Society of America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washington Academy of Sciences (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California Institute of Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geological Survey (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Vertebrate Paleontology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army Air Forces Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleontology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vertebrate paleontology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific illustrations Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes 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.
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