Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7093
Stimpson, William, 1832-1872
William Stimpson Papers, 1852-1861
Naturalist and zoologist, William Stimpson (1832-1872) spent four years as a naturalist with the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, 1852-1856. For nine years after the completion of the expedition, Stimpson utilized the facilities of the Smithsonian Institution while preparing a report based on the collections gathered during the expedition. While at the Smithsonian, he also helped classify and name specimens which the Smithsonian had been collecting. In 1865, Stimpson was called to Chicago by his friend Robert Kennicott in order to take over the directorship of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. At the Academy, Stimpson assembled probably the largest collection of specimens ever gathered up to that time, in preparation for a major work on invertebrates. It contained the Smithsonian specimens of American invertebrates and Stimpson's private collection, as well as loans from a number of other collections. This great collection, including all the manuscripts being prepared by Stimpson, was destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871, an event from which Stimpson never fully recovered.
This collection consists of manuscripts; a catalog; a financial notebook, 1852-1857; and general correspondence and receipts regarding publications based on the North Pacific Exploring Expedition and Stimpson's manuscripts, 1858-1861.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Stimpson, William, 1832-1872
- Kennicott, Robert, 1835-1866
- Chicago Academy of Sciences
- United States North Pacific Exploring Expedition (1853-1856)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7093, William Stimpson Papers