Joseph P. E. Morrison Papers,
1923-1973 and undated

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7376
Creators:
Morrison, Joseph Paul Eldred
Dates:
1923-1973 and undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.5 cu. ft. (3 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
The largest portion of Morrison's papers consists of professional correspondence written and received between 1923 and 1973. It documents his research interests and the extent of his influence as an adviser and research editor to students and colleagues worldwide in malacological matters. In addition there are small groups of letters, notes and other materials that relate to Morrison's employment, participation in expeditions, work as an author, and his special interest in collecting equipment and methods. Also included are research notes and information he collected which show the breadth of his interest. Although some of Morrison's expeditions and advisory work are incompletely documented or not covered at all, the papers are representative of most of his interests and expertise.
The bulk of Morrison's papers are dated between 1944 and 1970, covering a large portion of his Smithsonian career. His earlier career is covered less well, and there is little except a few letters dated prior to 1925. There are no papers dated before 1923 or after 1973. Additional information about Morrison's Smithsonian career may be found in the records of the Division of Mollusks (Record Unit 73) in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Joseph Paul Eldred Morrison (1906-1983), a respected authority in malacology, was born at South Bend, Indiana. His parents, Robert and Edith Eldred, were missionaries in Congo Belge [Belgian Congo], Africa, where his two brothers were born. After their mother's death in 1912 and father's death in 1913, the three boys became foster sons of Dr. and Mrs. Hugh Tucker Morrison.
Joseph Morrison was interested in zoology from his childhood, and at age 12 took a correspondence course in taxidermy. He spent much of his spare time collecting animals around his home in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1926 and went on to earn his M.S. (1929) and Ph.D. (1931) from the University of Wisconsin. While in school, Morrison worked as a researcher in zoology at the Illinois State Museum; the Mount Desert Island, Maine, Biological Survey; and the Wisconsin State Natural History Survey. He also taught briefly before joining the Division of Mollusks, United States National Museum, as a senior scientific aid in 1934. He was made assistant curator on September 1, 1942, and associate curator in 1946, where he remained until his retirement in 1975.
While at the Smithsonian, Morrison collected mollusks locally and on expedition. He did research for the Army Chemical Warfare Service in San Jose, Panama, in 1944. He also participated in both Operation Crossroads and the Bikini Scientific Resurvey research of the atomic bomb test sites in the Marshall Islands in 1946 and 1947. Aside from traveling and collecting, Morrison acted as a consultant on medical and veterinary topics for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Surgeon General, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He also served as an editorial consultant for National Geographic Magazine, as well as adviser to many colleagues and students. He was known as an expert in all three major areas of molluscan study: freshwater, land, and marine. He was a prolific writer, with over 100 publications and 175 new molluscan taxa introduced. Especially interested in specimen collection equipment, he designed or modified various dredges, nets, traps and firearms, including a .30 caliber M1 carbine that was used in a survival kit for World War II troops.

Chronology
Chronology
1906
Born December 17 at South Bend, Indiana
1912-1913
Parents deceased, Congo Belge
1919
Northwestern School of Taxidermy, correspondence course
1922-1924
Attended Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky
1923
Illinois State Museum, zoological specialist, summer
1923-1924
Student assistant in Zoology, Transylvania College
1924-1926
Attended University of Chicago, B.S., 1926
1925
Expedition to British Guiana as student at Kartabo Laboratory of University of Pittsburgh
1927
Illinois State Museum, zoological specialist, summer
1927-1928
Zoologist, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, Biological Survey, summers
1927-1931
Attended University of Wisconsin, M.S., 1929, Ph.D., 1931
1927-1931
Graduate assistant in zoology at University of Wisconsin
1928
Elected to Phi Sigma
1929
Married Dorothy Louise Dunn
1929
Elected to Sigma Xi
1929
Published first article on mollusks, "A preliminary list of the Mollusca of Dane County, Wisconsin"
1929-1930
Zoologist, Wisconsin State Geological and Natural History Survey, summers
1931-1933
Professor in Zoology at Crane Junior College, Chicago
1931
Elected to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
1933-1934
Taught botany and zoology at Kelly Senior High School, Chicago
1934-1942
Senior scientific aid, Division of Mollusks, U. S. National Museum
1939
Invented collapsible funnel fish trap
1940-1952
Member, National Speleological Society
1942-1946
Assistant curator, Division of Mollusks, U. S. National Museum
1944
Expedition to San Jose Island, Pearl Islands, Panama, for U. S. Army Chemical Warfare Service, with Alexander Wetmore
1946
Expedition to Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, for U. S. Army/Navy Operation Crossroads, with Leonard P. Schultz
1946
Promoted to associate curator, Division of Mollusks, U. S. National Museum
1946
Member, Washington Biologists Field Club
1946-1955
Member, Atoll Research Panel of the Pacific Science Board
1947
Bikini Scientific Resurvey, Marshall Islands
1948-1951
Associate editor, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1950
Vice-President, American Malacological Union
1951
President, American Malacological Union
1951-1953
Editor, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1952
Expedition to Raroia, Tuamotu Islands, for Pacific Science Board
1953
Life member, American Malacological Union
1953-1954
Senior editor, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1959
Life member, National Rifle Association
1960
Trip to Mt. St. Hilaire, Quebec, with American Malacological Union
1961
Expedition to New Caledonia
1961-1963
Vice-President, Biological Society of Washington
1962
Research trip to St. Petersburg, Florida
1962
Member, Society of Systematic Zoology
1962
President, National Capitol Shell Club
1963-1964
Acting president, Biological Society of Washington
1964
International Conference on Estuaries, Jekyll Island, Georgia
1965
Expedition to Dominica
1966-1967
Expedition to Mexico
1975
Retired from Smithsonian Institution
1983
Death, December 12

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7376, Joseph P. E. Morrison Papers

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Morrison, Joseph Paul Eldred Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wisconsin State Natural History Survey Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Division of Mollusks Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Mollusks Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Institutes of Health (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of Agriculture Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1946 Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army. Chemical Warfare Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illinois State Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Wisconsin Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Chicago Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bikini Scientific Resurvey Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mollusks Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malacologist 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