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

Record Unit 7261

Allen, Arthur R., 1880-1962

Arthur R. Allen Papers, 1928-1964

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Allen, Arthur R., 1880-1962
Title: Arthur R. Allen Papers
Dates: 1928-1964
Quantity: 0.75 cu. ft. (1 document box) (1 half document box)
Collection: Record Unit 7261
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These papers contain correspondence with amateur and professional mineralogists, curators, and collectors concerning the examination, identification, purchase, and exchange of meteorites, as well as eyewitness accounts of falling meteorites, in particular, the Bird City, Kansas, Meteor, 1931. Also included are photographs of the Walsenburg Quadrangle; Roy S. Clarke, Jr.; Edward P. Henderson; J. Edgar Chenowith; and newspaper clippings concerning meteorites. Important correspondents include Oliver Cummings Farrington, William F. Foshag, John Enos Graf, Herbert M. Hale, Oscar Monnig, Harvey Harlow Nininger, Charles P. Olivier, and Alexander Wetmore.

Historical Note

Arthur R. Allen (1880-1962), an amateur mineralogist, spent a large part of his adult life searching for meteorites in Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Allen corresponded with professionals and other amateurs throughout the world in the hope of obtaining new specimens for his meteorite collection. After his death, his collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution.

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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

These papers contain correspondence with amateur and professional mineralogists, curators, and collectors concerning the examination, identification, purchase, and exchange of meteorites, as well as eyewitness accounts of falling meteorites, in particular, the Bird City, Kansas, Meteor, 1931. Also included are photographs of the Walsenburg Quadrangle, Roy S. Clarke, Jr., Edward P. Henderson, and J. Edgar Chenoweth; and newspaper clippings concerning meteorites. Important correspondents include Oliver Cummings Farrington, William F. Foshag, John Enos Graf, Herbert M. Hale, Edward P. Henderson, Oscar Monnig, Harvey Harlow Nininger, Charles P. Olivier, and Alexander Wetmore.

Further information concerning the Allen Meteorite Collection can be found in National Museum of Natural History accession files, number 247668.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7261, Arthur R. Allen Papers

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Container List

Series 1

General Correspondence, 1928-1962. Arranged Alphabetically.

Correspondence deals with the identification, examination, and appraisal of meteorites; location of meteorites; inquiries as to origin and authenticity of meteorite specimens; requests for eyewitness accounts of meteorite falls; arranging distribution of Allen's photographs of meteorites; and supplying information upon request on the nature of meteorites. Correspondents include: F.W. Cassirer, dealer in minerals and meteorites in Prague, Czechoslovakia; Oliver Cummings Farrington, Curator of Geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago; William F. Foshag, Curator of Mineralogy and Petrology at the U.S. National Museum; John Enos Graf, Associate Director of the U.S. National Museum; Herbert M. Hale, Director of the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia; Edward P. Henderson, Assistant Curator of Geology at the U.S. National Museum; F. Frantz, mineral dealer in Bonn, Germany; Oscar Monnig, Texas Regional Director of the American Meteor Society; Henry Harlow Nininger, Director of Nininger Laboratories in Colorado; Charles P. Olivier, Director of the American Meteor Society; Stuart H. Perry, Editor and Publisher of the Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Michigan; and Alexander Wetmore, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. National Museum.

Box 1

Folder 1 Aiston - Buckley

Box 1 of 2

Folder 2 Carpenter - Evans

Box 1 of 2

Folder 3 Farmer - Fuller

Box 1 of 2

Folder 4 Garcia - Hunter

Box 1 of 2

Folder 5 Illinois State Museum - Lowell Observatory

Box 1 of 2

Folder 6 Mackey - Myrick

Box 1 of 2

Folder 7 National Geographic Society - Olivier

Box 1 of 2

Folder 8 Palache - Ruff

Box 1 of 2

Folder 9 Santillan - Yost

Box 1 of 2

Series 2

Journals and Notes, circa 1930-1938.

Box 2

Folder 1 Notebook, circa 1930s. Consists of Allen's records of eyewitness accounts of various meteorite falls. Includes diagrams outlining the location of the falls.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 2 Journal, circa 1932. An inventory describing the various meteorite specimens that passed through Allen's collection: provenance, classification, date, weight, cost, composition, and ownership.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 3 Notes, 1931. Describes in detail the occurrence of the Bird City, Kansas, Meteor. Notes, 1938, are entitled "Messages from Space" and are a collection of observations written in an autobiographical style explaining and discussing the phenomenon of meteorites.

Box 2 of 2

Series 3

Invoices, Packing List, and Inventory Lists, 1932-1940, 1963 and undated.

Box 2

Folder 4 Invoices, 1932-1940. Record some of Allen's exchanges and purchases of materials and specimens from public institutions and private dealers around the world.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 5 Packing list, 1963, prepared in Trinidad, Colorado, after Allen's death

Box 2 of 2

Folder 6 Inventory lists, undated. Record technical information about the meteorites.

Box 2 of 2

Series 4

Photographs, Newspaper Clippings, and Specimen Labels, 1937, 1964 and undated.

Box 2

Folder 7 Photograph, 1937. Shows the topography of the Walsenburg Quadrangle, in the Greenhorn Mountains of Colorado. Photographs, 1964, were taken at the time the Allen collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution. Pictured are J. Edgar Chenoweth, Representative from Colorado, and Roy S. Clarke and Edward P. Henderson, Curators in the Department of Mineral Sciences.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 8 Newspaper clipping, undated. Discusses the origin of meteorites.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 9 Specimen labels, undated. Document objects that were part of Allen's collection.

Box 2 of 2