These papers consist of notes and collection information gathered about mosquitoes from all over the world, as well as field notebooks and data used for The Mosquitoes of the South Pacific. Also included is the typed manuscript, illustrations, and galley proofs of The Mosquitoes of the South Pacific, Belkin's professional correspondence documenting his career at UCLA, and photographs and slides taken at many different field locations.
John N. Belkin (1913-1980) was born in Petrograd, Russia, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1938. That same year, he received his B.S. at Cornell University. He continued at Cornell, first as Assistant Entomologist for two years and then as Entomology Instructor until 1942. Belkin accepted a position as Junior Entomologist for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1942, but soon afterward was commissioned in the United States Army Sanitary Corps.
Belkin was the Commanding Officer of the 420th Malaria Survey Detachment in the Solomon Islands from 1943 to 1945, where he conducted his extensive surveys and collecting of specimens that would later serve as the basis of his two-volume The Mosquitoes of the South Pacific. Belkin returned to Cornell in 1946 and received a Ph.D. in medical entomology. He then worked briefly at Rutgers University as an Assistant Specialist in Entomology, and from 1946 until 1949 was Associate Professor of Biology for the Associated Colleges of Upper New York.
Belkin moved to California in 1949 to take a position as Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He became an Associate Professor in 1952 and a full Professor of Entomology in 1958. In 1962, Belkin became Professor of Zoology at UCLA, a position he held until his death in 1980.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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