Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7285
Wilson, Archie F., 1903-1960
Archie F. Wilson Papers, 1949-1961
Archie F. Wilson (1903-1960) was a wood enthusiast who assembled the foremost private wood collection in the United States. Although for most of his life he held managerial positions in the manufacturing industry, he devoted most of his free time to his avocation. During the 1950s he was a Research Associate in woods at the Chicago Natural History Museum (now the Field Museum of Natural History) and at various times between 1949 and 1960 he served as Editor, Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the International Wood Collectors Society (IWCS).
These papers consist primarily of correspondence, 1949-1961, which documents Wilson's activities in the IWCS, the growth of his collection, and his range of contacts with botanists, foresters, and other wood collectors around the world. Topics include collecting trips, specimens, and identifications, as well as IWCS business. Of special interest is Wilson's correspondence with William L. Stern, who became Curator of the Division of Woods at the Smithsonian in 1960. The long association of the two men resulted in Wilson's gift to the Institution, at his death in 1960, of his extensive wood collection. Also included are the constitution and by-laws of the IWCS, much taxonomic data, and specimen lists.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Wilson, Archie F., 1903-1960
- Stern, William Louis, 1926-
- International Wood Collectors Society
- Chicago Natural History Museum
- Field Museum of Natural History
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7285, Archie F. Wilson Papers