Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7183
Clark, Austin Hobart, 1880-1954
Austin Hobart Clark Papers, 1883-1954 and undated
Austin Hobart Clark (1880-1954) was born December 17, 1880, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His childhood study of butterflies initiated his interest in natural history. At the age of 23 Clark graduated from Harvard University (A.B., 1903). By 1906 his zoological interests had focused on marine biology, and from 1906 to 1907 he served as acting chief of the scientific staff of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries steamer Albatross. In 1906 he participated in the Albatross' eight-month Pacific cruise, which resulted in Clark's report of birds he had studied during that period.
Austin H. Clark's association with the United States National Museum began in 1908 with a position as honorary collaborator in the Division of Marine Invertebrates. In 1909 he was appointed assistant curator in the Division of Marine Invertebrates. When the echinoderm collection was removed from the Division of the Marine Invertebrates and made a separate division, Clark was promoted to curator of the Division of Echinoderms, effective April 1, 1920. Clark held the position of curator until his retirement in 1950, at which time he was made an honorary associate in Zoology, a position he retained until his death on October 28, 1954.
Clark did research in the areas of oceanography, marine biology, ornithology, and entomology, but the class Crinoidea constituted his principal research field. Due to a prevailing sense of international cooperation, Clark was able to gain access to specimens collected on various international expeditions, including the Canadian Arctic Expedition and the Siboga Expedition. The collections of the United States National Museum were also sent abroad for study. Notable recipients of these collections were Theodor Mortensen, Rene Koehler, Ludwig Doderlein, and Torsten Gislen.
Clark wrote 630 books and articles in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew. Although most of these were published in the United States, the places of publication included twenty different countries. Among his books were Animals of Land and Sea (1925), Nature Narratives (vol. 1, 1929; vol. 2, 1931), The New Evolution (1930), and Animals Alive (1948). Clark and his second wife, Leila Gay Forbes (m. 1933), co-authored eight papers on the butterflies of Virginia.
Scientific journalism was an important field for Clark. He maintained close contact with various scientific editors and was one of the first to realize the application of radio and televison to the dissemination of scientific news and ideas. Clark was instrumental in the development of the weekly radio talks aired by the Smithsonian from 1923 to 1926 in cooperation with the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the Navy Department, the Biological Survey, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Bureau of Fisheries, and other government agencies. In 1925 Clark and the Smithsonian were instrumental in establishing a series of radio broadcasts in the Boston area through the cooperation of Thornton W. Burgess, Harlow Shapley, and others. Clark was appointed director of press service for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1928. He also served as press relations officer for the Eighth Pan-American Scientific Congress (1940) and the AAAS Centennial Celebration (1948).
Clark also held offices in other scientific organizations, notably the National Research Council's American Geophysical Union, where he served as secretary of the Section of Oceanography (1926-1928), chairman of the Section of Oceanography (1928-1933), and vice-chairman of the Union (1933). He was also president of the Washington Academy of Sciences, president of the Entomological Society of Washington, a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Association, a member of the Executive Committee and Long Range Planning Committee of the Southern Association of Science and Industry, and a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Virginia Academy of Sciences.
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
The main body of the collection consists of incoming and outgoing personal correspondence. However, since Clark was curator and sole employee of the Division of Echinoderms from 1920 to 1950, his personal papers contain some official correspondence generated by the Division of Echinoderms during that period. Also included are papers that document Clark's participation in organizations outside the Smithsonian; records relating to the administration of the Division of Echinoderms; descriptive notes on specimen collections; manuscripts and typescripts; bibliographic references; Addison Emery Verrill material maintained by Clark; and charts and diagrams depicting the comparative Bathymetric distribution of crinoids in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans.
Correspondents include: Charles G. Abbot, Alexander Agassiz, Jerome Alexander, Wilfrid B. Alexander, E. J. Allen, Glover Morrill Allen, Joel Asaph Allen, George Andrew Ammann, Rudolf Martin Anderson, N. Annandale, Gilbert Archey, W. Arndt, Benjamin Walworth Arnold, J. P. Ault, Rene Bache, Clement W. Baker, Frank W. Ballou, H. A. Ballou, Outram Bangs, Nathan Banks, Thomas Barbour, H. G. Barnett, Harold L. Barrett, Albert L. Barrows, Paul Bartsch, F. B. Bassett, Charles Foster Batchelder, F. A. Bather, Ted Bayer, George Huddell Beatty III, F. Jeffrey Bell, Foster Hendrickson Benjamin, Marcus Benjamin, Charles T. Berry, Edward Willard Berry, Henry Bryant Bigelow, Lloyd C. Bird, C. V. Blackburn, A. F. Blakeslee, Howard Walter Blakeslee, Frank H. Blumenthal, Gilbert E. Bodkin, Herbert Bolton, H. Boschma, Harold Bowditch, Richard Le Baron Bowen, Jr., George M. Bowers, E. H. Bowie, William Bowie, Isaiah Bowman, George E. Brandt, Charles Marcus Breder, Jr., Walter E. Broadway, Paul Brockett, Alfred H. Brooks, Herbert Janvrin Browne, Charles Thomas Brues, George Kimball Burgess, Thornton W. Burgess, Alfred Cummings Burrill, Philip Powell Calvert, John H. Camp, James McKeen Cattell, Herbert Clifton Chadwick, J. M. Chamberlain, Asa Crawford Chandler, Eloise Christian, James Chumley, Hubert Lyman Clark, Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, John Mason Clarke, Theodore D. A. Cockerell, Hedley L. Coleman, Laurence Vail Coleman, William P. Comstock, Frederick Vernon Coville, Edward M. Crane, James Creese, Jr., Joseph A. Cushman, Edward Salisbury Dana, Violet Dandridge, Hubert J. Davis, William Thompson Davis, Elisabeth Deichmann, John A. Detlefsen, David Dickey, David Henry Dietz, Ludwig Doderlein, Franz Doflein, Cyril F. Dos Passos, James Drummond, Irving H. Dunlap, Charles Rochester Eastman, Ralph Edmunds, K. Ehrenberg, Harry Eltringham, William Keith Emerson, Richard A. Engler, Richard Etheridge, Barton Warren Evermann, David Grandison Fairchild, R. L. Faris, George T. Farran, H. B. Fell, Merritt Lyndon Fernald, Charles John Fish, Walter Kenrick Fisher, John Adam Fleming, Maynard D. Follin, William T. M. Forbes, Alexander Hume Ford, Charles McLean Fraser, E. E. Free, O. Fuhrmann, Louis Germain, John Hiram Gerould, Carl H. Getz, Charles Henry Gilbert, Walter M. Gilbert, Torsten Gislen, Seitaro Goto, Samuel Arnold Greeley, L. Paul Grey, James A. Grieg, Joseph Grinnell, Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, Maurice C. Hall, Chauncey J. Hamlin, R. Hamlyn-Harris, Sidney Frederic Harmer, Francis Harper, Clemens Hartlaub, Robert Hartmeyer, William Perry Hay, Kenneth Conrad Heald, Nicholas Hunter Heck, Joel Walker Hedgpeth, Edmund Heller, Francis Hemming, Samuel Henshaw, William A. Herdman, P. B. Hill, Edward J. Holmes, R. Horst, William Hovanitz, Leland Ossian Howard, Harrison E. Howe, Mark DeW. Howe, Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman, Louis W. Hutchins, George Evelyn Hutchinson, Albert G. Ingalls, Robert T. Jackson, Frits Johansen, D. Dilwyn John, Charles W. Johnson, T. Harvey Johnston, E. Lester Jones, David Starr Jordan, Harvey Ernest Jordan, Louis Joubin, Ernest Everett Just, Tamiji Kawamura, Vernon L. Kellogg, J. Scott Keltie, Stanley W. Kemp, Theodore G. Kern, Israel Klein, Charles H. Knowles, Rene Koehler, Charles Atwood Kofoid, Alfred L. Kroeber, Nagamichi Kuroda, Alexander Henry Leim, Frank Rattray Lillie, G. W. Littlehales, Burton Edward Livingston, Hubert Ludwig, Victor W. Lyon, Waldo Lee McAtee, George Francis McEwen, Ralph W. Macy, Albert Mann, William M. Mann, George Willard Martin, Bryant Mather, Hiko Matsumoto, John Campbell Merriam, Wilhelm Michaelsen, Roy Waldo Miner, C. C. A. Monro, Henry Frank Moore, Theodor Mortensen, Olaus Johan Murie, Robert Cushman Murphy, National Research Council: American Geophysical Union, Sidney Stevens Negus, Edward W. Nelson, Curtis Lakeman Newcombe, John Treadwell Nichols, Charles Cleve1and Nutting, Hiroshi Ohshima, Henry O'Malley, Wilfred Hudson Osgood, William Patten, Arthur Sperry Pearse, G. Pfeffer, John Charles Phillips, Morten P. Porsild, Carlos E. Porter, Frank A. Potts, Edward E. Prince, Lewis Radcliffe, Mary Jane Rathbun, Richard Rathbun, W. deC Ravenel, George William Rawson, Paul Marshall Rea, Paul S. Redington, August Reichensperger, W. Malcom Reid, Charles L. Remington, Willis Horton Rich, Jules Richard, Charles Wallace Richmond, William Emerson Ritter, Gilbert Thomas Rude, Rudolf Ruedemann, William Edwin Safford, W. N. Sands, Waldo Lasalle Schmitt, M. Jules Schokalsky, Jacob Richard Schramm, Charles Schuchert, Harlow Shapley, Ernest Shoemaker, Allen Shoenfield, Edwin E. Slosson, Edward H. Smith, G. Alex Smith, Hobart Muir Smith, Thomas Elliot Snyder, Arthur deC Sowerby, Frank Springer, J. Foster Stackhouse, Leonhard Stejneger, Charles Wardell Stiles, Matthew Stirling, Witmer Stone, Abbott H. Thayer, R. J. Tillyard, Olga A. Titelbaum, Walter Edmond Clyde Todd, Charles Henry Tyler Townsend, Frank W. Trainer, Parker Davies Trask, Frederick William True, Harold C. Urey, Frederick William Urich, W. A. J. M. Van Waterschoot, Van Der Gracht, C. Vaney, Ernst Vanhoffen, T. Wayland Vaughan, Addison Emery Verrill, Warren Herbert Wagner, Jr., Charles D. Walcott, Henry Baldwin Ward, Henry Stephen Washington, Francis Watts, Max C. W. Weber, Alexander Wetmore, David White, Edward Wigglesworth, C. B. Williams, Carroll E. Wood, Casey W. Wood, H. E. Woodcock, Bernard H. Woodward.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Clark, Austin Hobart, 1880-1954
- Verrill, A. E. (Addison Emery), 1839-1926
- United States National Museum. Division of Echinoderms
- Harvard University
- United States. Bureau of Fisheries
- Albatross (Steamer)
- United States National Museum. Division of Marine Invertebrates
- Carnegie Institution of Washington
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1918)
- Siboga Expedition (1899-1900)
- Eighth American Scientific Congress. (1940: Washington, D. C.)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7183, Austin Hobart Clark Papers