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Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 7190

Girard, Charles Frederic

Charles Frederic Girard Papers, circa 1846-1860 and undated

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Girard, Charles Frederic
Title: Charles Frederic Girard Papers
Dates: circa 1846-1860 and undated
Quantity: 3 cu. ft. (6 document boxes)
Collection: Record Unit 7190
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

The papers of Charles Frederic Girard consist chiefly of manuscripts, research notes, and bibliographical data on natural history. Also included is a small amount of correspondence. Of particular interest is a manuscript concerning Girard's voyage to America with Louis Agassiz in 1846 and copies of correspondence and statements by Girard concerning a dispute with Agassiz. Much of the material is written in French.

Historical Note

Charles Frederic Girard (1822-1895) was born in France. He became a student and assistant to Louis Agassiz in Switzerland and came to the United States with Agassiz in 1847. He worked in Cambridge with Agassiz until 1850 when he left to become Spencer F. Baird's principal assistant at the Smithsonian Institution. While at the Smithsonian, Girard published a number of works on herpetology and ichthyology, both alone and in collaboration with Baird. In 1860, he accepted a commission from the Confederacy to supply drugs and medical supplies and left for Paris. He made a brief trip to the Southern states in 1863. Following the war, he returned to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life in medical practice.

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Introduction

This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.

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Descriptive Entry

The papers of Charles Frederic Girard consist chiefly of manuscripts, research notes, and bibliographical data on natural history. Also included is a small amount of correspondence. Of particular interest is a manuscript concerning Girard's voyage to America with Louis Agassiz in 1846 and copies of correspondence and statements by Girard concerning a dispute with Agassiz. Much of the material is written in French.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7190, Charles Frederic Girard Papers

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Container List

MANUSCRIPTS, SPEECHES, CORRESPONDENCE, NOTES, AND RELATED MATERIALS, 1846-1854, AND UNDATED. ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.

This series consists mostly of manuscripts; drafts of speeches and lectures; and notes documenting Charles Girard's research in natural history. Also included are a few pieces of correspondence concerning Girard's Bibliographia Americana Historico-Naturalis. Of special interest is a manuscript regarding Girard's voyage to America with Louis Agassiz in 1846 and copies of correspondence and statements by Girard concerning a dispute with Agassiz.

Box 1

Folder 1 "Voyage en Amerique, 1846." Manuscript, in French, concerning Girard's trip with Louis Agassiz from Paris to Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1846.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 2 "The nutritive fluid and the assimilation or separative process." Draft of speech delivered before the Harvard Natural History Society, January 10, 1850.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 3 Text of unidentified speech read before the Harvard Natural History Society, June 14, 1850.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 4 "The Seventeen-year Locusts (Cicada septendecim)." Manuscript of article printed in the Boston Evening Traveler, September 3, 1851.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 5 Copies of correspondence and statements by Girard regarding a dispute with Louis Agassiz, 1852. Much of the material is in French.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 6 "Instructions for collecting, preserving, packing, and transporting specimens of natural history, 1852." Manuscript.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 7 Drafts of lectures on natural history delivered by Girard at the Rugby Academy, Washington, D.C., December, 1852.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 8 "Testimonials in reference to the Bibliographia Americana Historico-Naturalis, A. D., 1851." Consists of correspondence, and newspaper clippings regarding Girard's bibliography, 1853. Includes correspondence from James Dwight Dana, Jeffries Wyman, Thaddeus William Harris, and Temple Paine.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 9 "Catalogue of North American Molluscs in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution: Nemertidae and Planaridae," 1853. Unpublished.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 10 "Life in its Physical Aspects." Text of speech read before the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. April 29, 1854.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 11 "Bibliographie Embryogenique," undated.

Box 1 of 6

Folder 12 "Hints for Casting and Molding specimens of Natural History and fine arts," undated. Includes manuscript and drawings.

Box 1 of 6

Box 2

Folder 1 Research material for "A History of the North American Reptiles," unpublished.

Box 2 of 6

Folder 2 Unidentified manuscript on the Aleutian Islands.

Box 2 of 6

Folders 3-5 Miscellaneous zoological notes and bibliographical material.

Box 2 of 6

Folder 6 Newspaper clippings of lectures on embryology by Louis Agassiz compiled by Girard.

Box 2 of 6

Series 2

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF NATURAL HISTORY, CIRCA 1850-1860. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY.

This series consists of bibliographical data on natural history compiled by Charles Girard. Apparently, much of the material was used in Girard's Bibliographia Americana Historico-Naturalis, A.D., 1851, which was published by the Smithsonian in 1852. Girard seems to have periodically updated the bibliography during his years at the Smithsonian. The material is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box 3

Folders 1-6 Entomology

Box 3 of 6

Folder 7 Herpetology

Box 3 of 6

Box 4

Folders 1-3 Herpetology

Box 4 of 6

Folders 4-6 Ichthyology

Box 4 of 6

Box 5

Folders 1-6 Invertebrate Zoology

Box 5 of 6

Box 6

Folders 1-4 Invertebrate Zoology

Box 6 of 6

Folder 5 Mammalogy

Box 6 of 6

Folder 6 Ornithology

Box 6 of 6