Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 400
National Museum of Natural History. Division of Mammals
Correspondence, circa 1953-1988
The Department of Mammals of the United States National Museum was formally created in 1880. Prior to that time, the Smithsonian held an extensive collection of mammals which had been obtained from the private collection of Spencer F. Baird, from the United States Exploring Expedition and other government explorations, and from the collections of the National Institute which was dissolved in 1861. Upon the formation of the Department, Elliott Coues was appointed Honorary Curator of Mammals. He continued as Honorary Curator until Frederick William True became Curator in 1883. In 1897, a major reorganization of the Museum made the department a division within the new Department of Biology and True became Head Curator of Biology. True also remained Curator of Mammals until 1909. In 1898, Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr. was appointed Assistant Curator of Mammals and from 1908 until his retirement in 1940 served as Curator. Other staff of the Division of Mammals have included Marcus Ward Lyon, Jr., Aid, 1898-1906, and Assistant Curator, 1906-1909; Ned Hollister, Assistant Curator, 1910-1916; A. Remington Kellogg, Assistant Curator, 1928-1941, and Curator, 1941-1948; David H. Johnson, Associate Curator, 1941-1957, and Curator, 1957-1967; Raymond M. Gilmore, Associate Curator, 1944-1947; Henry W. Setzer, Associate Curator, 1949-1969, and Curator, 1969-1979; Charles O. Handley, Jr., Assistant Curator, 1950-1954, Associate Curator, 1954-1965, and Curator, 1965- ; Richard W. Thorington, Jr., Associate Curator, 1969-1976, and Curator, 1976- ; James G. Mead, Assistant Curator, 1972-1976, Associate Curator, 1976-1982, and Curator, 1982- ; and Michael D. Carleton, Assistant Curator, 1979-1983, Associate Curator, 1983-1987, and Curator, 1987- .
These records consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence of the staff of the Division of Mammals and primarily concern the identification, loan, and acquisition of specimens; requests for information from colleagues and the public; the publication of scientific papers; and research projects of the staff.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Setzer, Henry W.
- Handley, Charles O. (Charles Overton), 1924-2000
- Thorington, Richard W.
- Mead, James G.
- Carleton, Michael D.
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 400, National Museum of Natural History. Division of Mammals, Correspondence