Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7251
Knight, J. Brookes (James Brookes), 1888-1960
J. Brookes Knight Papers, circa 1928-1955 and undated
J. Brookes Knight (1888-1960) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his bachelor's degree at Princeton University, 1911, his master's degree at the University of Kansas, 1928, and his Ph.D. at Yale University, 1931. After graduating from Princeton, Knight returned to St. Louis to help in his family's business. During this time he studied fossils from the St. Louis area which were later used as the basis for his thesis at Kansas.
Following his graduation from Yale, Knight remained there for two years as a Research Associate and Sterling Senior Fellow at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. In 1933 he left the Peabody Museum and went to Occidental College in California where he was an Assistant Professor of Geology. From 1934 to 1935, he was in Europe on a Penrose Grant from The Geological Society of America to study Paleozoic gastropod collections in European museums. In 1936, he was appointed Lecturer and Curator of Paleozoic Invertebrate Paleontology at Princeton. During World War II, he also served as Instructor of Geology at Princeton's Army Special Training Program. During the summers of 1931, 1936, and 1938, Knight was an Assistant Geologist with the United States Geological Survey, assisting Philip B. King in studying the Permian fossils of Texas.
In 1945 Knight joined the staff of the United States National Museum (USNM) as a Research Associate in Paleontology, a position which he held until his retirement in 1956 when he was made an Honorary Research Associate. At the USNM Knight was in charge of the Paleozoic gastropods. As a result of his work with these fossils, Knight helped to prepare a section on Paleozoic gastropods for the Index Fossils of North America (1944) and the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology published by the Paleontological Society in 1960. He also helped prepare a study of Permian fossils, parts of which were published posthumously.
These papers consist of general correspondence with his family and amateur and professional paleontologists; unpublished manuscripts on gastropods and a typescript by F. M. Wadley of the United States Department of Agriculture; and drawings and a map of geological formations in central Texas. Correspondence concerns family financial matters; the administration of the USNM's Department of Geology; the review and publication of journal articles; state geological surveys; Knight's involvement in professional societies; and his research in Europe.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Knight, J. Brookes (James Brookes), 1888-1960
- King, Philip B., 1903-1987
- Wadley, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1892-
- United States. Department of Agriculture
- United States National Museum. Department of Geology
- Princeton University
- University of Kansas
- Yale University
- Peabody Museum of Natural History
- Occidental College
- Geological Society of America
- Geological Survey (U.S.)
- Paleontological Society
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7251, J. Brookes Knight Papers