The Julius Victor Carus Photograph Album Collection (Record Unit 7315) was received from the Division of Mollusks, National Museum of Natural History in October 1984.
This collection includes an album housing the private collection of photographic portraits assembled by Julius Victor Carus. The album contains 127 portraits, primarily of European scientists in the fields of natural history, biology, comparative anatomy, physiology, embryology, and medicine. Also included are a few photographs of natural history specimens. Most of the photographs are "carte-de-vistes," measuring 2 1/2 x 4 inches, which were commonly exchanged between professional people during the latter half of the 19th century. A small amount of "cabinet" size photographs are also found. Most of the 127 photographs are identified. Many of these are autographed and include words of greeting.
Also included are prints of the original photographs; reprints of Harley J. Van Cleave's articles on the Carus album published in BIOS in 1943; negatives of the plates which appeared in the BIOS articles; index card files prepared by Van Cleave and by the Division of Civil History, United States National Museum which contain information on the subject of the portrait (or unidentified), photographer, and autograph or greeting; and a partial copy of a description of the album by Van Cleave.
The Archives wishes to thank David M. Damkaer for identifying many of the scientists in this album.
Julius Victor Carus (1823-1903) was a zoologist, editor, and historian of science. Educated in German universities and at Oxford, he served on the faculties of the latter, as well as the universities at Edinburgh and Leipzig. Carus is probably best remembered as editor of the Zoologischer Anzeiger, a position he held from its inception in 1878 until his death. He was also recognized for the translation into German of many of the classical works of Charles Darwin.
Carus established wide professional contacts during his career and he exchanged "carte-de-viste" photographs with many of the eminent scientists of his era. After his death in 1903, Carus' private collection of portraits (housed in an album) fell into the hands of a book dealer. The album was purchased by Harley J. Van Cleave, an invertebrate zoologist and faculty member at the University of Illinois. Van Cleave published a series of articles on the Carus album in BIOS in 1943. In the articles he included several plates of unidentified portraits in the hope that readers might recognize the subjects. Van Cleave donated the album, along with his collection of fresh-water mollusks, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1953.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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