Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7076
Riley, Charles V. (Charles Valentine), 1843-1895
Charles Valentine Riley Papers, 1866-1895 and undated, with information to 1915
Charles Valentine Riley (1843-1895) was one of two or three key figures in the development of economic entomology in the United States. An Englishman by birth with little formal scientific training, he was a protege of Benjamin Dann Walsh and the first entomologist of the state of Missouri. Between 1868 and 1871 Riley established his reputation in Missouri, and then he became the second entomologist of the United States in 1878. He also secured establishment of the United States Entomological Commission in 1877. In 1882 Riley was named honorary curator of insects in the United States National Museum, and from his own collections and those of the Department of Agriculture grew the national collection of insects. Riley also published two journals, in cooperation with others: the American Entomologist (1868, 1880) and Insect Life (1889-1894).
These papers concern entomology, mostly economic, including scrapbooks compiled by Riley and occasionally by others, 1872-1894, tracing the history of entomology in clippings from a wide variety of sources arranged topically and especially useful for tracing Riley's work as state Entomologist of Missouri; Memorandum Entomologicum, 1866-1879, consisting of descriptions, drawings, observations and some rearing data on a wide variety of injurious insects; outgoing correspondence, 1866-1895, including letters from Riley to other entomologists; incoming correspondence, 1882-1883, relating to silk culture; notes and papers, mostly on psyllidae; and notes and correspondence concerning Phengodes and Zarhipis. See Record Units 138 and 139 for records of the Division of Insects of the National Museum. Correspondents include: Cleveland Abbe, William Harris Ashmeade, George Francis Atkinson, Lawrence Bruner, Daniel William Coquillett, Ezra Townsend Cresson, Charles Henry Fernald, Stephen Alfred Forbes, Hermann August Hagen, Leland Ossian Howard, George Duryea Hulst, Karl Lindeman, Franz Low, Eleanor Anne Ormerod, Charles Robert Osten-Sacken, Alpheus Spring Packard, William Hampton Patton, Charles Valentine Riley, Eugene Amandus Schwarz, Samuel H. Scudder, John Bernhard Smith, Philip Reese Uhler, John Obadiah Westwood.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Riley, Charles V. (Charles Valentine), 1843-1895
- Walsh, Benjamin Dann, 1808-1869
- United States Entomological Commission
- United States National Museum
- United States. Department of Agriculture
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7076, Charles Valentine Riley Papers