SIA RU007321, Ward, Lester Frank 1841-1913, Lester Frank Ward Papers, 1882-1913, with related materials to circa 1965
- Ward, Lester Frank 1841-1913
- Lester Frank Ward Papers, 1882-1913, with related materials to circa 1965
- Data Source:
- Smithsonian Institution Archives
- 1882, 1882-1913, 1882-1913, with related materials to circa 1965
- Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913) served as a geologist and paleontologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) from 1882 to 1905. In addition to his USGS career, Ward served as Honorary Curator of the Department of Fossil Plants in the United States National Museum (USNM) during the same span of years. In 1905, Ward accepted a faculty appointment at Brown University, where he remained until his death. Ward's paleobotanical research concentrated upon the relation of fossil plants to geology, and their value and importance in stratigraphic investigations. His scientific bibliography included over one hundred and fifty titles. Ward is probably best remembered for his pioneering work in sociology.
- These papers consist primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence documenting Ward's paleobotanical research and his curatorial work in the USNM. Also included are letters concerning his official duties with the USGS. The correspondence concerns the acquisition and identification of specimens, the preparation and publication of scientific manuscripts, and field work. Included is extensive correspondence with Charles Leo Lesquereux, John Strong Newberry, and Arthur Hollick. The papers also include a small amount of correspondence of Ward's assistant and colleague, Frank Hall Knowlton; a photograph of Ward taken in his USNM office in 1886; and a pencil sketch of Ward.
- The papers do not concern Ward's sociological theories or writings. Researchers interested in that aspect of his career should consult Ward's papers deposited in the Library of Congress and Brown University.
- Ward, Lester Frank 1841-1913, Hollick, Charles Arthur 1857-1933, Knowlton, Frank Hall 1860-1926, Lesquereux, Leo 1806-1889, Newberry, J. S (John Strong) 1822-1892, Geological Survey (U.S.), United States National Museum Department of Fossil Plants, Brown University
- Illustrations, Collection descriptions, Photographs
- Local Number:
- SIA RU007321
- Physical Description:
- 0.75 cu. ft. (1 document box) (1 half document box)
Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Table of Contents
- Collection Overview
- Historical Note
- Descriptive Entry
- Index Terms
- Administrative Information
- Container List
- Series 1 - LESTER FRANK WARD CORRESPONDENCE, 1882-1905. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY.
- Series 2 - FRANK HALL KNOWLTON CORRESPONDENCE, 1903-1926. ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY
- Series 3 - PHOTOGRAPHS AND PENCIL SKETCH, 1886 AND C. 1965
Record Unit 7321
Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913
Lester Frank Ward Papers, 1882-1913, with related materials to circa 1965
|General Information About This Collection|
|Repository:||Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Creator:||Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913|
|Title:||Lester Frank Ward Papers|
|Dates:||1882-1913, with related materials to circa 1965|
|Quantity:||0.1 linear meter.|
|Collection:||Record Unit 7321|
|Language of Materials:||English|
Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913), paleontologist and sociologist, was born in Joliet, Illinois. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, he moved to Washington, D.C. From 1865 to 1881, Ward was employed by the United States Treasury Department. During this period he studied at Columbian College (now The George Washington University) from which he received the A.B. degree in 1869, the LL.B. degree in 1871, and the A.M. degree in 1872. In 1882, Ward was appointed Assistant Geologist in the United States Geological Survey (USGS). He served the USGS for the remainder of his career in the federal government, receiving promotions to Geologist in 1883, and Paleontologist in 1892. In addition to his USGS work, Ward was appointed Honorary Curator of the Department of Fossil Plants in the United States National Museum in 1882. He remained in charge of the national collections of fossil plants until his resignation from the USGS in 1905. In that year he accepted a faculty appointment at Brown University, where he remained until his death.
Ward was considered one of the foremost paleobotanists of his time. His work with the USGS concentrated upon the relation of fossil plants to geology, and their value and importance in stratigraphic investigations. He also made valuable contributions to paleobotany by compiling extensive indices of the genera and species of fossil plants and their places in the published record. His scientific bibliography included over one hundred and fifty titles.
He is probably best remembered for his pioneering work in sociology. Between 1883 and his death, he completed several important works including Dynamic Sociology (1883), Outlines of Sociology (1898), Pure Sociology (1903), and Applied Sociology (1906).
This collection consists primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence documenting Lester Frank Ward's paleobotanical research and his work as Honorary Curator in charge of the United States National Museum (USNM) collection of fossil plants. Also included are letters concerning his official duties with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The correspondence concerns the acquisition and identification of specimens; the preparation and publication of scientific manuscripts; field work and expeditions; and administrative matters. Ward corresponded with most of the prominent paleobotanists of the late nineteenth century including Leo Lesquereux, John Strong Newberry, and Arthur Hollick. Other correspondents include USNM and USGS scientific and administrative staff and personnel of domestic and foreign museums, universities, and research institutions. The correspondence does not touch upon Ward's sociological theories and writings. Researchers interested in that aspect of his career should consult collections of Ward's papers at Brown University and the Library of Congress.
The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence of Ward's assistant and colleague Frank Hall Knowlton; a photograph of Ward taken in his USNM office in 1886; and a pencil sketch of Ward.
Researchers should also consult Record Unit 220, records of the Department of Botany, United States National Museum, for other material documenting Ward's career at the USNM.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Department of Fossil Plants (USNM)
- Geological Survey (U.S.)
- Hollick, Charles Arthur, 1857-1933
- Knowlton, Frank Hall, 1860-1926.
- Lesquereux, Leo, 1806-1889.
- Newberry, J. S. (John Strong), 1822-1892
- Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7321, Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913, Lester Frank Ward Papers
Series 1LESTER FRANK WARD CORRESPONDENCE, 1882-1905. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY.
Folder 1 B-C, general. Correspondents include John Henry Comstock, 1886
Folder 2 Berry, Edward Wilber, 1901-1904
Folder 3 Clark, William Bullock, 1889-1890, 1900-1904
Folder 4 D-F, general. Correspondents include Constantin Freiherr von Ettingshausen,1886-1888; and William Morris Fontaine, 1885, 1888, 1901
Folder 5 Fairchild, Herman Leroy, 1893-1895. Of special interest is a letter of February 8, 1893 which contains Ward's thoughts on the scientific career of John Strong Newberry
Folder 6 G-I, general. Correspondents include Grove Karl Gilbert, 1886, 1890; and Charles Willard Hayes, 1902-1904
Folders 7-13 Hollick, Arthur, 1892-1904, 1912, 1919-1920, 1925. Primarily concerns Hollick's completion of John I. Northrup's study of the Brighton fossil plant collection. See also under John I. Northrup, folder 21. Correspondence after 1904 is between Hollick and Charlotte H. Schmidt
Folder 14 Knowlton, Frank Hall, 1885-1896. Includes correspondence concerning Knowlton's field work in Yellowstone National Park, 1888; New Mexico and Arizona, 1889; and Montana, 1890. Also included is a letter from Ward to C. Hart Merriam (August 20, 1889) concerning Knowlton
Folder 15 L-M, general. Correspondents include Arthur Lakes, 1890; William Libbey, Jr., 1893; Robert Hills Loughridge, 1886-1887; Othniel Charles Marsh, 1898; and George P. Merrill, 1898
Folders 16-20 Lesquereux, Charles Leo, 1882-1889. Primarily concerns his work identifying fossil plant specimens for the United States National Museum and the United States Geological Survey
Folder 21 Marsh, Othniel Charles, 1898-1899
Folder 1 N-S, general. Correspondents include Henry Fairfield Osborn, 1901; Charles Smith Prosser, 1886, 1888; Richard Rathbun, 1898, 1905-1906; and Charles H. Sternberg,1887-1888, 1899
Folder 2 Newberry, John Strong, 1882-1891. Letter of June 7, 1889 contains Newberry's remarks on Ferdinand V. Hayden
Folder 3 Northrup, John I., 1888-1892. Concerns Northrup's study of the Bridgton fossil plant collection. See also under Arthur Hollick, folders 6-12
Folder 4 T-Z, general. Correspondents include C. D. White, 1886-1888
Folder 5 Wieland, George R., 1898-1904
Series 2FRANK HALL KNOWLTON CORRESPONDENCE, 1903-1926. ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY
Folder 6 Frank Hall Knowlton correspondence, 1903-1926. Consists mostly of correspondence with United States Geological Survey officials
Series 3PHOTOGRAPHS AND PENCIL SKETCH, 1886 AND C. 1965
Folder 7 Photograph of Ward and Miss Moorehead (later Mrs. Frank H. Knowlton) in his office in the United States National Museum, 1886. Photograph possibly taken by David White
Folder 8 Pencil sketch of Ward by Marjorie Arnold, circa 1965. Apparently sketched from the photograph found in folder 25. Also included is a photograph of the sketch
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