Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7283
Shepard, Charles Upham, 1804-1886
Charles Upham Shepard Papers, 1830, 1842-1894 and undated
Charles Upham Shepard (1804-1886) was a mineralogist and authority on meteorites. Shepard was educated at Amherst College, graduating in 1824. After a short period as a school teacher in Boston, Shepard went to Yale College in 1827 as assistant to Benjamin Silliman. He remained at Yale until 1844 serving as lecturer in botany, 1830-1831; director of the Brewster Scientific Institute, 1832-1833; and lecturer in natural history, 1833-1844. In 1844, he became lecturer in natural history at Amherst College, where he remained until his retirement in 1877. From 1834 to 1869, Shepard served as professor of chemistry at the South Carolina Medical College (a position held concurrently with his lectureships at Yale and Amherst). Shepard made extensive collections of minerals and meteorites throughout his career. After his death in 1886, his meteorite collection (the largest in America at the time) was deposited in the United States National Museum (USNM) by his son, Charles Upham Shepard, Jr. The collection was officially bequeathed to the USNM in 1915.
This collection consists primarily of correspondence with mineralogists., collectors, and museums concerning Shepard's research on meteorites and the acquisition of specimens for his collection. Also included are notebooks, scrapbooks, catalogues, and lectures of Shepard; specimen lists; and newspaper clippings collected by Shepard mostly concerning meteorites. A small amount of correspondence of Shepard's son, Charles Upham Shepard, Jr., is contained in the collection, including correspondence with Frank Wigglesworth Clarke concerning the deposit of the Shepard Meteorite Collection in the USNM in 1886.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Shepard, Charles Upham, 1842-1915
- Clarke, Frank Wigglesworth, 1847-1931
- Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864
- Amherst College
- Yale College
- Medical College of the State of South Carolina
- United States National Museum
- Shepard Meteorite Collection
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7283, Charles Upham Shepard Papers