Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7223
Longley, William Harding, 1881-1937
William Harding Longley Papers, 1892-1904, 1913-1935 and undated
William Harding Longley (1881-1937) was born in Nova Scotia. Following his graduation from Acadia University in 1898, Longley served in the provincial school system until he entered Yale about 1903. While there, he specialized in biology and received a position as instructor in the subject in 1910. The following year, Goucher College in Baltimore appointed him instructor in biology and assistant professor of botany. Longley remained at Goucher until his death, becoming professor of botany in 1914, chairman of the department of biology in 1917, and professor of biology in 1919.
Longley's major scientific work was done in connection with the Dry Tortugas Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, where he first went as a collector in 1911. He returned often in subsequent years to study color and pattern in tropical reef fishes as a means of testing Darwin's theories on protective coloration. His studies in this field led him to develop a comprehensive statistical theory on the origin and spread of species, some notes on which are in this collection. His close association with the Laboratory led to his appointment as its director in 1922.
These papers contain notebooks of William Harding Longley concerning field work in the Tortugas, Hawaii, Samoa, and the Pacific; examination of specimens in European and American museums; and the evolution and distribution of species, including notes on botanical species. There is also a notebook which is marked as Longley's, but appears to be an A. B. Alexander field journal for the North Pacific, 1892-1904.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Longley, William Harding, 1881-1937
- Alexander, A. B. (Alvin Burton), b. 1854
- Acadia University
- Yale University
- Goucher College
- Carnegie Institution of Washington. Tortugas Laboratory
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7223, William Harding Longley Papers