Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7169
Howell, Arthur H. (Arthur Holmes), 1872-1940
Arthur Holmes Howell Papers, circa 1905-1940, 1967
Arthur Holmes Howell (1872-1940) developed an interest in natural history, especially birds, as a boy in New York State. He later joined the Linnaean Society of New York and the American Ornithologists' Union. Through his membership in these groups, he came to know many of the naturalists of the day, particularly Harry C. Oberholser, the ornithologist. On the advice of Oberholser, Vernon Bailey of the United States Department of Agriculture, Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy, later the Bureau of Biological Survey, gave Howell a temporary appointment in 1895 and took him on a western trip as a field assistant.
Following a second temporary appointment in 1896, Howell became a permanent special assistant and was assigned work on the preparation of scientific study skins and the Bureau's mammal collection. Howell remained with the Biological Survey until his death and held the position of Senior Biologist in the Division of Wildlife Research, Fish and Wildlife Service, successor agency of the Bureau.
During his career, Howell became one of the leading American ornithologists and mammalogists. He was a charter member of the American Society of Mammalogists, a member of the Society's Board of Directors, 1935-1940, and Chairman of the editorial committee, 1938-1940. In addition, he was a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union and a member of the Baird Ornithological Club, the Cooper Ornithological Club, and the Biological Society of Washington. Howell's major publications dealt with the fauna of the southeastern United States, particularly birds and mammals.
Howell published 118 works. His major works included The Birds of Arkansas, Birds of Alabama, and Florida Bird Life. At the time of his death, he was also preparing two manuscripts for the North American Fauna Series, A Revision of the Classification of Red Squirrels and The Mammals of Florida.
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
The papers of Arthur Holmes Howell include a bibliography of his works, correspondence and notes dealing with the determination of life zones in the southeastern United States, particularly Alabama, and with the birds and mammals of Florida.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Howell, Arthur H. (Arthur Holmes), 1872-1940
- Oberholser, Harry C. (Harry Church), 1870-1963
- Bailey, Vernon, 1864-1942
- Linnaean Society of New York
- American Ornithologists' Union
- United States. Department of Agriculture
- United States. Bureau of Biological Survey
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- American Society of Mammalogists
- Baird Ornithological Club of Washington, D.C.
- Cooper Ornithological Club
- Biological Society of Washington
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7169, Arthur Holmes Howell Papers